Support The Moscow Times!

Now is the time to support independent reporting from Russia!

Contribute Today

Saudi Band Mangles Russian Anthem During Putin’s First Visit Since 2007

Russian President Vladimir Putin showed off his growing Middle East clout on Monday with his first visit to Saudi Arabia in over a decade. 

The Saudi military band, however, did not appear to get the memo.

During the welcoming ceremony at the royal palace in Riyadh, musicians made Putin and Saudi King Salman stand for an ear-piercing rendition of the Russian national anthem.

Putin showed no signs of anger as the horns hit one false note after another, but his facial expression betrayed a look of weary annoyance.

Russia took vengeance on the brutal Saudi performance in the form of a gifted falcon who promptly defecated on a royal carpet.

The trained gyrfalcon was caught committing the offense on video as Putin handed it to King Salman.

Read more