London, June 20 : A magazine completely dedicated to Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's virility and reputation as a "vampire" has hugely boosted the leader's image as Russia's leading sex symbol.
The celebrity gossip magazine 'Secrets of the Stars' had released a special edition eulogising the ex-KGB officer, which was sold out in no time in Moscow.
The cover, carrying a picture of Putin looking unnaturally youthful accompanied by the headline "My heart is on my sleeve", alone seemed sufficiently tantalising to appeal to most patriotic Russians.
Add to that a free poster of the topless prime minister fishing and sub-headlines promising revelations of his wild youth including a visit to a stripclub in Hamburg, romances with women and a guide on "how to become Putin", and the magazine looked set to break circulation records for a single issue. Most intriguingly of all, the cover promised a story about Putin's wife titled: "Ludmila Putin: My husband is a Vampire".
"We have created a monument to Putin for the common people," the Telegraph quoted magazine's chief editor, Roman Popov, as saying.
"We wanted to show him as a pragmatic man who likes a good joke and who is strong and beautiful," Popov added.
The magazine also carries numerous photos of the Prime Minister in heroic poses, kayaking, swimming with dolphins and arm wrestling, under the headline: "Sometimes He's Just So Cool".
"There's not a single woman who would not dream of embracing and kissing Vladimir Vladimirovich and hearing his declaration of love," the article opined.