Russia's Putin promotes his 'softer' side

Premier works to boost support in run-up to presidential vote as critics slam decision to dodge pre-poll debate.

    Russians are used to seeing images of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin riding a horse bare-chested and cruising around town on a Harley-Davidson motorcycle.

    However, with another presidential election ahead, Putin has launched a website that attempts to show his softer side.

    Putin's efforts to bolster his image come as a growing grassroots movement seeks his removal from power.

    Critics say his decision not to take part in a pre-election debate means his campaign is already losing important credibility.

    Al Jazeera's Neave Barker reports from Moscow.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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