Cuddly Russian Mascots in trouble
Russians chose three mascots — a cute snow leopard, polar bear and hare — by popular vote in a seemingly innocent television show late Saturday that aimed to choose a people’s mascot.
Eyebrows were first raised when the initial favourite to win the most votes — a portrayal of Russian Father Christmas Ded Moroz — was rather undemocratically ditched from the competition by the organisers.
Then the most votes went easily to the mascot which strongman Prime Minister Vladimir Putin had declared his favourite — the “strong, fast and beautiful” snow leopard.
Prominent political analyst Dmitry Oreshkin told Moscow Echo radio that it was possible some none too cuddly tricks engineered the result through a rigging of the telephone system.
“Just after Vladimir Putin showed his sympathy for the leopard, its votes climbed sharply,” he said.
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