A St.Petersburg Cossack group unveils a bust of Russian President Vladimir Putin depicted as a Roman emperor, symbolizing a ''leader for life.'' Jillian Kitchener reports.
Many of these Cossacks say they want Vladimir Putin to be Russia's leader for life. In a small village outside St.Petersburg, members of the local Cossack community gathered to honor their president. ... with this bust, depicting Putin as a Roman emperor. Local Cossack leader Andrei Polyakov explains: (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) LEADER OF ORTHODOX COSSACK UNION "IRBIS", ANDREI POLYAKOV, SAYING: "Probably Cossacks would want to have an emperor for life, who would give strength to the state, who would take care of Russia's destiny throughout his whole life, because presidents come and go, but an emperor as a symbol is probably what Russia needs." Cossacks used to serve the Russian tsars on the borders of their empire and today they've become a staunchly conservative social force. Polyakov says the idea for the bust came about after Russia's takeover of the Crimean peninsula last year. And as for Putin... he's given public praise to their brand of Russian Orthodox patriotism.