Russian girls who have supported President Medvedev and Prime Minister Putin through several public actions have recently showed they were not competing, but working together, as they rode tandem bicycles in Moscow.
The race started at about 15-30 at Manezh Square near the Kremlin on Monday. Organizers of the event – the founders of the “I really like Putin” and “Medvedev is our President” groups which were formed via the Russian social network Vkontakte – said they chose to ride tandem bikes because Vladimir Putin had suggested that he and Dmitry Medvedev might do the same one day during Putin’s recent meeting with youth activists in the North Caucasus. The activists said they will ride from the Kremlin, the official residence of the Russian president, to the Russian White House, the office building which houses the government and its chairman. After the ride the girls would stop at a point located strictly between the two addresses so as not want to offend either one of the officials.
The event organizers were probably inspired by the fact that President Medvedev and Prime Minister Putin really had a bicycle ride together, albeit on separate bikes, in mid-July in the president’s country residence Gorky.
However, one of the people who said they were behind the event, Zaur Gazdarov, told the press that the main purpose of the race was to add some intrigue to Russian political life. “This is a pre-elections year and everyone who will run is interested. We wanted to stir up a little intrigue. And as the tandem still exists, I consider our event to be a compelling one,” the Moskovskiy Komsomolets daily quoted Mr. Gazdarov as saying.
The social network groups supporting Putin and Medvedev have recently gained media attention in Russia and abroad by publicity stunts that involved tearing t-shirts, a bikini car wash and outright stripping in exchange for spectators’ refusal to drink beer. The members and organizers of the events have summarily denied having a connection with any political movement.