#4. Like Putin Video Game
Like Putin is the first flash game to feature a politician as anything but a very badly-mocked (and often literal) target. Putin literally leaps out of the headlines to fix things he doesn't like, making this the first video game character less powerful than the real thing, who gets to set headlines before they're printed. Usually by saving reporters from a charging tiger.
In the game he only beats up terrorists with his bare hands.
He rushes through the Web beating up terrorists, driving a Lada, winning the Olympics and collecting money to give to poor old Russian ladies. While saving the world and destroying lethal threats, he's strolling around in a business suit, because sprinting and power armor are for pansies like Master Chief.
#3. The Putin Army
By definition, a "Putin Army" would have to be something other than armed forces because he makes them superfluous. He's defeated tigers, whales and polar bears -- giving him extra troops on his side isn't just unnecessary, it's unsporting. Which is why the Putin Army started as "women who will take their clothes off for Putin." Berlusconi had to sell his entire government to get that. Putin has them volunteering online in the hope he might notice.
They started with a post offering an iPad 2 to any girls who ripped up "something or someone" for Putin, but strongly hinted that it should be their clothes. By having girls meet at the waterfront to rip off their clothes. Russia doesn't screw around with hints (as anyone on their continent in the last century could tell you). As if opposition parties in Russia didn't have enough difficulties (like the justice ministry refusing to register them even when they're lead by a former prime minister), they now have to compete with breasts.
This escalated to scantily clad students cleaning Russian cars for free in the streets and turning the male and female hosts of a Russian news network into characters from a cliche romantic comedy.
Prime Time Russia
She's about to slap him and/because he's not even looking at her.
This triggered the best and sexiest escalation of all time with a counter-group of "Medvedev girls" dressing up as schoolgirls. It's especially gratuitous because Putin and Medvedev exhibit more obvious teamwork than the Constructicons. Medvedev just suggested Putin as the presidential candidate for 2012, so with the upcoming increase of presidential terms to six years they're exactly half-way through double-teaming the very concept of Russian democracy for 24 years. You get the impression they started this girl army contest just because they were two guys and realized they could.
#2. Asked To Award the MMA European Championship (Instead of Van Damme)
Notice how Van Damme is thrilled to hang out while Putin wears the tolerating grin of a tired father.
The UFC fighters want to hang out with him too, because even people who take concussions for a living know that choke holds don't work against polonium-210 injections. Fyodor Yemelyanko is widely regarded as the greatest mixed martial artist of all time -- he's won more martial arts awards than China, was undefeated for almost a decade and he says that earned Putin's notice.
In 2007, JCVD watched the Mixed Fight Championship between U.S. and Russia with Putin and Berlusconi, in what must have been the ultimate guy's night out. This also caused the infamous St. Petersburg unsplit-pants, hooker and even happily married women shortage.
At the 2010 MMA European Championships all the fighters and staff were so impressed at having a real badass around they called Putin out of the audience to award the championship. Van Damme was just one of 10 other guys on stage giving out lesser awards.
Which is only fair: Jean-Claude has to pay people to pretend to be beaten by him. Putin is in charge of an entire country, even when he pretends he isn't.
#1. The Convent of St. Putin
Saint Putin. Let that idea sink in. Convent leader Svetlana Frolova has set up a religion based on Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, under the mistaken impression that his name isn't already impressive enough. She believes him to be the reincarnation of St. Paul the Apostle and Grand Prince Vladimir of Rus, founder of the Russian Orthodox church.
In 1996 she was jailed for fraud, and in prison turned to religion not because of Christ, but because of Putin. Since describing Putin as an incarnation of kickass is a pretty easy sell, and the same PR strategy he's using, she convinced others to join her in a convent in Bolshoya Yelnya. It's basically a bunch of old ladies who've decided this is the only way they'll be able to get on their knees for services to Putin's manliness at their age, and they're going for it.
"Blessed sisters, I imagine that it is THIS BIG!"
It's also the worst possible publicity for Putin. His PR staff already spends 23 hours a day assuring people he's not turning the entire country into a cult, so an actual cult is bad news. Luckily, all of "Mother Fotinya's" followers are extremely old, and one of the religion's rules forbids modern medicine, so it shouldn't be a problem for long. Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Putin was "bemused" by the sect. That's about right: an entire convent of people dedicating themselves to him body and soul is a slightly amusing issue of minor concern. He went on to add, "I would like to recall another of the main commandments: thou shalt not worship false idols." Though whether this was a caution for the sect, or a warning to the rest of the world, remains unclear.
Fans of political ass-kicking can read 7 Reasons Vladimir Putin Is The World's Craziest Badass, while porno fans should behold Berlusconi's antics in The 5 Craziest Exploits of the World's Shadiest Politician.