A Urals District night club with a mural of Russia's President Vladimir Putin against the backdrop of a burning U.S. White House has claimed the painting had no political implications, a news report said.
The Oblacko hookah lounge in the Tyumen region has drawn a flurry of online criticism for the drawing, but a "positive" reception from customers, a spokesperson for the club, Filipp Fadeyev, was quoted by Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper as saying Monday.
"We wanted for a long time to decorate our establishment with [the image of] some popular character, and the choice fell on Vladimir Putin," Fadeyev was quoted as saying. "Those who have a sense of humor will understand that this has nothing to do with politics."
Local artist Sergei Spiridonov said his painting copied an image that has been circulating online, and was intended to showcase Russians' patriotism, Komsomolskaya Pravda reported.
The painting bears a striking resemblance to a scene from Hollywood blockbuster White House Down, with Putin striding away from the burning White House while military helicopters circle overhead.
Belligerent images or caricatures denouncing the United States and its government have grown increasingly popular in Russia amid Moscow's deteriorating relations with the West over the crises in Ukraine and Syria.