Support The Moscow Times!

Putin Appears to Fight Back Tears at Police Day Concert (Video)

YouTube footage showing Russian band Rozhdestvo performing at the National Police Day celebrations with Putin in attendance.

When Vladimir Mayakovsky wrote that Bolsheviks never cry in his poem titled "Vladimir Ilyich Lenin," he probably wasn't aware of the susceptibility of Russia's leaders to the power of crooners and tear-jerking songs.

President Vladimir Putin appeared to be fighting back tears at a concert honoring the police last weekend while listening to the performance of a sentimental ballad titled "You Know, I Want to Live So Much."

Television footage showed Putin twitching his lips and fidgeting with his face to the sound of the song by Russian band Rozhdestvo ("Christmas"), whose lyrics featured such literary gems as: "I will come back, even if I get whacked."

But perhaps it wasn't so much the song that moved the Russian leader, as the video footage of heroic police officers and their weeping relatives that played on a huge video screen behind the band. Titles at the end of the song said that 163 Russian police officers have died in the line of duty so far this year.

Senior police officers who flanked Putin kept stony faces, as they stood up along with the rest of the audience during the song.

Putin had previously cried in public during a celebration rally after he won the presidential election in 2012, but his spokesman attributed the tear that rolled down his cheek to the icy winds.

Some bloggers quipped that Putin's emotions inside the concert hall should also be attributed to severe weather conditions.

"About that tear: What if there was just a strong wind?" blogger Irina Fomicheva, who works at the Moscow State University, wrote on Facebook.

"He was crying from greed: So much money has been wasted on this junk," said Andrei Pimenov, identified as a nuclear research institute employee on Facebook.

Read more