Fire guts Putin's favourite restaurant
A favourite restaurant of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin was completely wrecked Tuesday in a suspected arson attack, officials and reports said.
Podvorye restaurant, near Saint Petersburg, was devastated by the fire that broke out around 5:00 am. "The two-storey wooden building was completely destroyed in less than an hour," the emergency situations ministry said.
The ministry said in a statement that the exact cause of the fire had not been determined, but police are looking into the possibility it was deliberate.
Media reports from the northwestern city said that video cameras had filmed an unidentified individual throwing a Molotov cocktail through the window.
Putin, who served two terms as president in the 2000s, has frequented the restaurant on trips to his hometown and even celebrated his one-year anniversary in the presidency there.
Podvorye boasts Sharon Stone, Michael Douglas and Giorgio Armani among its recent guests, according to photos on its website.
© 2011 AFP