14:42 GMT +311 December 2018
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    Vladimir Putin at reception held to honor military graduates at Kremlin

    Happy Birthday, Mr President! How Putin Was Toasted on His Birthday

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    The Russian president has received a variety of exotic birthday gifts during his career, including the statue of a creature that “never backs down” and a live tiger.

    On October 7, Verona Mayor Federico Sboarina and Antonio Fallico, Chairman of Banca Intesa, congratulated Russian President Vladimir Putin on his 66th birthday from the stage of the ancient Roman amphitheater known as Arena di Verona.

    "We wish you good health, and hope that you will continue your work – the work that helped change our world," Fallico said in Russian, shortly after Italian pop singer Toto Cutugno performed the famous Russian romance song "Dark Eyes".

    ​Taking stock of this development, Sputnik recalls some of the more extravagant birthday gifts and wishes that Putin received over the past two decades.

    Never Back Down

    In 2002, then-President of Moldova Vladimir Voronin presented Putin with a crystal statuette of a crocodile, stating that “a crocodile is the only animal that does not back down.”

    Tiny and Dangerous

    In 2008, during his tenure as the prime minister, Putin was gifted a two-month old Siberian tiger cub. The little tiger was later donated to the Safari Park in Gelendzhik.

    Prime Minister Vladimir Putin presented to journalists a tiger cub which he was given for his birthday on October 7.
    © Sputnik / Aleksey Nikolskyi
    Prime Minister Vladimir Putin presented to journalists a tiger cub which he was given for his birthday on October 7.

    Summit Celebration

    In 2013, Vladimir Putin was attending the APEC summit in Bali during his birthday, where he was toasted by the attending world leaders who sang “Happy Birthday to You” for him. The Russian president also received a gift of sake from Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, while Chinese President Xi Jinping brought him a cake.

    A Duvet Unlike Any Other

    And in 2017, Silvio Berlusconi brought Putin a gift of a custom-made duvet which featured a life-size image of the two statesmen shaking hands, with a backdrop of Russian and Italian landmarks.

    Duvet cover
    © Photo : Courtesy of Lnzuolissimi
    Duvet cover

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    tiger, gifts, birthday, Vladimir Putin, Italy, Russia
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