Boy, kissed by Putin refuses to take bath
Vladimir Putin's decision to stop a small boy outside the Kremlin and kiss his stomach was prompted by a desire to "touch him like a kitten," the Russian president said.
The 5-year-old boy, named Nikita Konkin, was clearly stunned by the kiss and speculation over Putin's motivation has run wild in the week since it happened.
Curious Internet users propelled the issue to the top of a list of questions put to Putin in an interactive Webcast.
"People came up and I began talking to them, among them this little boy. He seemed to me very independent, sure of himself and at the same time defenseless so to speak, an innocent boy and a very nice little boy," Putin said.
"I tell you honestly, I just wanted to touch him like a kitten and that desire of mine ended in that act."
The Izvestia daily, which tracked down Nikita, discovered that he had refused to wash after that kiss.
Nikita's grandmother said that his grandson began to act like an adult without much talking sometimes when he knew the adult was the president. The boy refused to take bath unless the weather was too hot. He used a towel to protect his stomach from water in order to keep the precious kiss.
"I just liked him and he liked me very much. I want to be president myself," the 5-year-old said.