Putin's hard man image targeted by spoof Web song

MOSCOW (Reuters) - A spoof song which makes fun of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s hard man image as the savior of Russia’s battered economy has been winning fans on the Internet.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting in the town of Pikalyovo, in Leningrad region, about 270 kilometres (168 miles) from Russia's northern city of St.Petersburg, June 4, 2009. REUTERS/RIA Novosti/Pool/Alexei Nikolsky

Public satire of Putin, who stepped down as president in 2008 to become prime minister, is rare and state media present the former KGB spy as the main figure handling the crisis.

Putin last month publicly humiliated factory owners in the town of Pikalyovo and forced them to reopen their plants after workers protested against unpaid wages.

“Putin, Putin goes to Pikalyovo. Putin, Putin will make it cool for us,” the Russian lyrics say as a bearded man in a suit gyrates. “Putin, Putin is quick to do justice. Putin, Putin is our Prime Minister.”

The Russian song, set to a popular 1970s Czech tune Jozin z Bazin, has had tens of thousands of clicks on the website in recent days.

Putin is Russia’s most popular politician and his influence has fueled speculation that he could seek to return to the Kremlin in the future.

The spoof song says an election is just around the corner and that the result will be clear to everyone. But the song ends by saying the next Russian president will be the monster who gives his name to the original Czech song.

That very popular song tells the story of a village monster which ate tourists.

“Jozin z Bazin is the people’s choice ... oligarchs, miners and even cops know that Jozin z Bazin will be our new president.”

The song can be foundhere

Writing by Gleb Bryanski; Editing by Ingrid Melander