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Putin Icon Oozes Myrrh, Cult Says

A cult leader who worships Vladimir Putin as a saint claims that myrrh is oozing from an icon of the prime minister as a sign of God's blessing.

The cult, led by former convict Svetlana Frolova, is based in the Nizhny Novgorod region and considers Putin to be the reincarnation of the apostle Paul.

"Attention! Starting from Thursday, the icon of Vladimir Putin was renewed and started seeping myrrh," the cult said in a statement on its web site. "God is giving us signs of His gracious presence."

Myrrh seeping out of icons and the renewal of icons, when their colors brighten up, are attributes of the Russian Orthodox faith.

The news about the "miracle" broke over the weekend, but neither Putin nor the Russian Orthodox Church have commented on it.

Frolova, known by followers as Mother Fotinya, also considers Putin an embodiment of the tsar. She has been running the cult since at least 2005.

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