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Putin Sings Old Song on Sochi Beach

Prime Minister Putin speaking with members of a volunteer construction group on a Sochi beach late Monday. Alexey Druzhinin

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin expanded his repertoire of unorthodox publicity stunts, singing a Soviet-era pop classic to the music of a guitar with a group of young people on a Sochi beach.

Putin traveled by motorboat at sunset Monday to chat with a group of 37 volunteers involved in Olympic construction, RBCdaily.ru reported. The young people are cleaning up ski slopes for the 2014 Winter Olympics — the prize for winning a contest by Avtoradio in which they had to spruce up their neighborhoods.

The group was joined by pop star Vera Brezhneva, folk singer Oleg Mityayev and pop duo Uma2rman. Putin made his beach landing to the chorus of the duo's song "Uma Turman," which, translated, includes the line, "Vova, I've been so waiting for you."

During the chat by the beach fire, Putin praised the Sochi construction for the boost it was giving to the region's development. He also said the Olympics were important because the "joyful expectation of festivities peps up the population," the report said.

As usual, he dodged questions about whether he would run in the 2012 presidential election, saying only that "it's too early for me to become a pensioner," Komsomolskaya Pravda reported.

Putin accepted a CD of humorous songs about him from the group, saying he welcomed a good parody. He also sang "We Didn't Make Up This World" by pop diva Alla Pugachyova along with the other participants of the event.

Putin, whose previous brushes with music included the presentation of a hip-hop award on television and a song request on Dorozhnoye Radio in 2009, had been busy boosting public support for his party, United Russia, ahead of the State Duma elections in December.

Last month, he created a new election vehicle for the party, the All-Russia People's Front. The public group, which already comprises more than 400 organizations, said Monday that it is opening doors to individuals.

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