Posted on October 28, 2010 - by Venik
Speculation is rampant over Vladimir Putin’s appearance in Kiev, sporting gaudy orange make-up, with many saying it hid a black eye. Has the Russian action man been beaten up?
Was it the result of a judo chop? A visit to the dentist? A cuffing by some wild beast?
Speculation was rife in Ukraine today after Vladimir Putin visited the country with what appeared to be a large bruise on his cheekbone.
Russia’s action man prime minister seemed down in the dumps as he met Ukraine’s pro-Moscow leadership with his face smothered in orange foundation – apparently to hide the shiner under his left eye.
Putin’s aides denied anything was wrong, but the leader’s appearance caused intense speculation in local media and blogs. Ukrainian television channel TSN said the Kremlin chief had “noticeable swelling” on his face and was “covered in make-up”.
Andrei Kolesnikov, a well-known correspondent with Russia’s Kommersant newspaper, confirmed the prime minister’s unusual aspect. “Could it really be the result of some tough sparring?” he asked, saying the bruise was “thoroughly retouched but nonetheless noticeable to everyone without exception”.
In pictures from Kiev, the make-up on Putin’s face appeared to have been so hastily applied that it stopped at a tide line in the middle of his forehead.
The 57-year-old is well known for being a judo black-belt, a keen horse-rider and an animal lover who keeps a potentially bolshie goat at his dacha outside Moscow. Earlier this year, he hugged a polar bear on a trip to the Arctic and two years ago he caressed a slumbering tiger.
Levy Bereg, a Ukrainian newspaper, had its own theory about the bruising. “Did Putin have a facelift?” it asked. But the Russian prime minister’s spokesman said he was simply tired and the victim of “poor lighting”.