This is the last Putin-in-Siberia post, promise. From the Associated Press:
While Americans may think of the Marlboro man, for Russians the more powerful association is the warrior heroes of Russian fairy tales who rode horseback and defended Russia from foreign invaders.
“They are trying to play on Russian folk traditions,” said Yevgenia Albats, editor of the political magazine New Times.
“The message is: I am the master of the Russian universe,” she said. “I go to our roots, to nature, the land that is not occupied by anyone. I am the one and only warrior in these lands.”