March 10, 2011

Russian Charity Event Drew Putin, but Perhaps No Money

Posted in Philanthropy at 3:11 pm by philanthropynews

MOSCOW — Turn on Russian television and one is bound to see images of Prime Minister Vladimir V. Putin skiing, riding a horse or flying a plane. He has also been shown shooting a tiger with a tranquilizer dart and chasing whales in a dinghy while wielding a crossbow. It is all part of a well-honed tough-guy image.

But in December, viewers saw his softer side. Mr. Putin, though not previously known to be musically gifted, sang a sweetly rendered version of “Blueberry Hill” in English, accompanied by a live jazz band. He also played a grand piano.

The occasion was billed as a charity event for hospitals treating children with cancer. But three months later, the mother of a 13-year-old girl with cancer who believed her daughter would benefit from the event is saying that no money ever made its way to the hospitals.

(Read more via New York Times.)