‘Vladentines’ Day Blog is ‘Putin’ the Charm on Americans

File Photo of Vladimir Putin and Pilot in Hang Glider Airborne Next to Flying Cranes

WASHINGTON February 15 (RIA Novosti) “From Russia with Love” takes on a whole new meaning on the recently launched “Happy Vladentine’s Day” blog [http://vladentinesday.tumblr.com], a collection of photos with tongue-in-cheek Valentine’s Day captions that feature Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Dubbed “love letters from a global badass,” the site shows imaginary, Putin-themed messages of endearment printed across some of the most memorable images of the Russian president, much like a traditional Valentine.

“He does quite a few photo ops in extreme circumstances,” said the blog’s American creators who call themselves “Team Vlad” and asked to remain anonymous.

From hunting wild tigers to riding a motorcycle through the streets, Putin’s iconic photos intrigued the bloggers, who said they were not used to seeing political figures so animated and adventurous.

“We were joking about how many of his photos look like the cover of a harlequin romance novel and thought it would be funny to create Vladentine’s, so the next day we started the blog,” the pair told RIA Novosti.

Launched two weeks ago by a male and female duo, two 20-somethings from the Eastern United States who claim to have no ties to Russia, the blog started out as a joke between their friends but soon took on a life of its own, thanks to social media.

Since its launch, the blog has received more than 35,000 hits from 160 countries, with Russia ranking high on the list of internet traffic, Team Vlad said.

The bloggers have no ties to Russia, but they told RIA Novosti they were intrigued by Vladimir Putin, who they described as an “animated” political figure.

“We’ve been pretty blown away by how quickly it has taken off,” they added.

And while the majority of the Vladentine’s were created by the bloggers themselves, in recent days they have received dozens of user submissions that will be shared on the blog.

Team Vlad said for now they have no plans to quit their day jobs to work on their Putin project full-time, but they did hint ­ partially in jest ­ at the possibility of creating a line of t-shirts with some of the most memorable Vladentine’s.

In the meantime, they have an important message for Russia’s leader: “Mr. Putin, please never stop taking those awesome photos.”