Vladimir Putin took some hits in the ring this weekend. It was his ego, not his face, that came out brusied.
After Russian fighter Fedor Emelianenko beat out American Jeff Monson in a mixed martial arts (MMA) fight, Putin took to the ring to congratulate his fellow Russian. The prime minister is himself a blackbelt martial artist, but that didn’t win him any popularity from the crowd.
On a YouTube video of the media broadcast, boos can be heard over Putin’s short speech.
Some of his supporters denied the booing, the guardian reports:
Kristina Potupchik, a spokeswoman for the Kremlin youth group Nashi, was the first to provide an alternative scenario.
“People, have you gone completely mad?” Potupchik asked. “I was at Olimpisky tonight, people were screaming and whistling from happiness.”
Potupchik went on to say that if there was booing, it had nothing to do with Putin.
She wrote that the shouts and whistles “were most likely linked with the stupid organisation of entry and exit into Olimpisky”, adding: “Some of the 22,000, their bladders filled with beer, started to protest against their inability to empty them. Yes, that happens. You should go to the toilet beforehand, gentlemen.”
Having never been to an MMA fight, I can’t comment on the usual wait times for the facilities, but based on the noise, that must have been an awfully long line.