Medvedev in mystery super hero poster chafes Kremlin

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A mysterious poster depicting Russian President Dmitry Medvedev as Captain America, a skinny kid turned comic super hero, appeared Tuesday in Moscow causing Kremlin irritation.

Wearing a black leather jacket and leather gloves, the Russian president is shown in a spoof movie poster for "Captain America: The First Avenger", a movie which hit US screens earlier this month.

The words "Captain Russia. The First Ruler" are emblazoned across the Moscow poster.

Instead of a shield the comic superhero holds in the movie poster, the Russian president is depicted with a huge iPad in his hands.

The Kremlin and the government have been touchy about attempts to hijack the images of Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

A Kremlin official, speaking on condition of anonymity, called the stunt "some sort of stupidity."

The Captain America movie tells the story of a skinny kid who is selected for a top secret process which transforms him into a hero with the body of a Greek god who is sent on a mission to fight against the Nazis.

An artist behind the poster said it was his response to several placards posted round central Moscow that depicted Putin as James Bond, causing the Russian government to loudly protest.

Putin's face was superimposed on Daniel Craig's body on a movie poster for Casino Royale, a 2006 Bond film. The placards were part of a street game and a competition to receive an iPad.

"Am I afraid of the authorities' reaction? No. I am not a terrorist, I am an artist," he said to AFP by email declining to give his name.

"There's nothing aggressive about my work. I hope the powers that be realise that."

Russia is heading into presidential polls next year and it is still not clear whether Putin or Medvedev will run, with rival factions on both sides promoting their candidacy.

In May, equally mysterious posters by the same artist showed Russia's ruling tandem posing in matching tennis shorts.

He is believed to be behind several other, less innocent posters making acerbic references to the Western military campaign in Libya and posted at

One of his works shows Libyan strongman Moamer Kadhafi trying to rent a flat.

© 2011 AFP

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