Putin sends greetings, with a wink

2011-12-31 19:18
Moscow - Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has sent New Year's greetings to all Russians, even those protesting his 12-year rule and his plans to return to the presidency for at least six more years.

Putin said he wished well-being and prosperity "to all our citizens regardless of their political persuasion, including those who sympathize with leftist forces and those situated on the right, below, above, however you like" - in Russian, clear sexual innuendo.

Putin often uses crude language, especially when speaking derisively of his critics. The tough language has helped build his image as a man of the people.

President Dmitry Medvedev will give the formal New Year's address at midnight on Saturday. It is expected to be more conciliatory toward the Kremlin's opponents.

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