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Putin Gets Down At Hip-Hop Party (VIDEO)

Huffington Post   First Posted: 03/18/10 06:12 AM ET Updated: 05/25/11 03:40 PM ET

Vladimir Putin may not be hip, but he isn't afraid to mix it up with some hip-hop.

The Russian prime minister, dressed in a somewhat unfortunate turtleneck sweater, decided to get down Friday on "Battle for Respect," a music contest run by Muz TV, Russia's answer to MTV. Putin was there not to dance -- though he did sway ever so slightly and awkwardly to the beat -- but to present awards, spread an anti-drug message, and buff his image as a man of the people.

From the AFP:

"And breakdance is something peculiar," Putin said. "This really is propaganda for a healthy lifestyle because it is hard to imagine breakdancing having anything to do with drinking and dope."

Putin is no stranger to the careful management of his everyman image, as anyone who saw the photos from his summer vacation of him riding shirtless on a horse can attest. As Reuters notes, Putin has been on an image rehabilitation program recently after seeing his approval ratings take a plunge last month.

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