On the eve of Pres. Dmitri Medvedev‘s visit to Omsk, planned for the 12th of February, local authorities took down an ad billboard for United Russia picturing Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. Now the ad features a photograph of Pres. Medvedev (see picture). The billboard with the photograph of Putin appeared right after his election to as president. After Medvedev became head of the government, his photograph appeared next to a photo of Putin. Now the billboard only has a picture of a smiling Medvedev together with the slogan, “Omskites for a Strong United Russia.” Yesterday, United Russia officials announced that they did not know anything about the changes to the billboard. “We did not discuss this issue at the Regional Office of UR. Maybe the decision to update the posters was made by the General Council of the Party,” said Viktor Artemyev of the regional party apparatus. Meanwhile, members of the opposition tied the change in advertising to the arrival of the President in Omsk. “Bureaucrats want to please, as they say, to lick the high leadership,” noted First Secretary of the Omsk Communist Party, Aleksandr Kravets. The ad with the President’s face is located on the road to state cottages, in which high-level guests to the region stay.
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