Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Saturday, February 07, 2009

ABBA in Russian politics

In the US, banks receiving public bailout funds embarrass themselves by paying out big bonuses to executives. In Russia, the questions are: Did Putin spend a pile of rubles for a private concert by an Abba cover band? And does the macho Russian PM really like Abba's music? (President Medvedev is a Deep Purple fan.)

Putin denies dancing to Abba hits

"An Abba tribute band says it has performed a private concert for Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

"Bjorn Again says it was paid £20,000 to play the gig 200 miles (320km) north of Moscow on 22 January...

"The PM's spokesman denied the claim. Mr Putin - a former KGB spy who has a black belt in judo - is known in Russia and the West for his macho image...

"The four-member group says Mr Putin and about seven other guests, including a woman, were present at the concert, but they sat on a sofa veiled by a curtain...

"'He [Putin] was dancing along in his seat to Super Trouper and raised his hands in the air during Mamma Mia when we asked the audience to,' [Aileen McLaughlin, who performs as Abba's blonde Agnetha Faltskog] said..."

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