G7 leaders mock Putin’s bare-chested horse-riding pictures
Independent TV

If you're a Pulp fan, there's no doubt you'll instantly recognise the cover for their 1998 album 'This is Hardcore' which features a blonde woman flopping sideways in a red velvet living room.

Well, there's more to the story than meets the eye. And it involves Vladimir Putin.

The woman-in-question is model turned TV presenter Ksenia Sobchak, with political ties to the Russian leader. Twenty years after Pulp's 'This Is Hardcore' release, Sobchak went head-to-head with Putin in the election – and while she shut down rumours she is his goddaughter, she did confirm that Putin attended her baptism.

Sobchak is also the daughter of the first democratically elected mayor of Saint Petersburg. She has hosted the Russian version of Big Brother, featured as a judge on Russia’s Next Top Model and posed naked for Tatler, according to AU News.

A Twitter thread from Australian comedian and documentary filmmaker John Safran has since gone viral for shedding light on the famed album cover.

“Was this theater orchestrated by Putin, to present an image of free and fair elections, shackling and even poisoning those who posed a real threat to his power? This is one theory. Sobchak’s father was Putin’s mentor, so there was already a connection,” Safran tweeted.

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Sobchak allegedly told the BBC: “The only connection I have with Putin is when I was a 10-year-old girl … and some guy came with my father and did something while dealing with the city."

She has since used her platform to express her views against the invasion of Ukraine.

In a lengthy post earlier this year, she wrote: "The world is on the verge of disaster. I remember writing a letter to Reagan in 1988 [saying] Dear Mr President we do not want war because I was scared to death of nuclear war...

"Now I'm an adult, but the fear is the same … Global geopolitical interests cannot be more important than the simple, peaceful life of millions of people."

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