Russian leader Vladimir Putin has revealed that it was not the KGB but Father Frost, the Soviet Santa, that was the real force behind his rapid rise.
”I am more thankful to the people of Russia that entrusted me with this high position,” said the Russian leader at the traditional annual news conference and jokingly commented on a question by one of the journalists who mentioned a person suing Father Frost for not granting his wishes.
Putin came to power on New Year’s Eve, the day Father Frost brings presents and rights the world, in 1999 when Boris Yeltsin unexpectedly quit.
“My relationship with Father Frost has always developed in a good way,” said Putin.
Asked by a reporter from Veliky Ustyug, a snowy Russian town said to be Father Frost’s home, about a man suing him for not delivering on his wishes for 23 years, Putin came to Santa’s defence.
“Can I remind the plaintiff that Father Frost only fulfils the wishes of boys and girls who have been good,” Putin said.
”Let him analyse his behaviour and think about what prevents Father Christmas from giving him presents,” he added.
When asked about the current state of relations between the Russian President and Father Frost, Putin said he is thankful to him and the Russians for being able to serve as the country’s leader.
”I hope that Father Frost does not just grant us presents but ability to fullfill our plans, both of a country as a whole and every Russia’s citizen,” he said
An explosion in cases driven by the rise of the Omicron variant has meant a Christmas season tainted by the pandemic for a second year running, with longed-for family reunions overshadowed by the prospect of yet more Covid-19 restrictions.
(With inputs from agencies)