Kremlin plans 'Back to the USSR' New Year ball: official
The Kremlin is planning a New Year's ball under the theme of "Back in the USSR" that will feature a spoof double of ex-Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev.
The eye-catching plan, outlined in detail on the official website for state expenditure, is for New Year celebrations at a sanatorium that is part of the Kremlin administration.
According to the detailed description of the expenditure posted on the website, 350 people are being invited to the party at the Klyazma sanatorium, which is part of the New Gorki leisure complex outside Moscow.
The maximum cost of the event -- starting in the afternoon on December 31 and slated to run until 5:00 am the next morning -- is put at 500,000 rubles (16,000 dollars).
The highlight promises to be a "show number" with a "Brezhnev double", reminding guests of the dour leader who ruled the Soviet Union in the so-called period of stagnation in the 1970s and early 80s.
The Brezhnev double will compere competitions and hand out prizes to the lucky winners.
Another impersonation will be of Alla Pugacheva, one of the Soviet Union's most celebrated pop singers whose career continued seamlessly into modern Russia.
Also lined up is a seven-person "musical collective" who will play foreign hits of the 70s and 80s including Sher, Madonna and Abba.
The group will also play "romantic ballads" by the likes of The Beatles and Joe Cocker.
Many Russians remain nostalgic for the Soviet Union almost two decades after its collapse, which strongman Prime Minister Vladimir Putin once famously described as the "greatest geopolitical catastrophe" of the 20th century.
© 2010 AFP