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'Vladimir Vladimirovich [Putin], We love you!'

Perhaps it's no surprise that Prime Minister Putin, who has wooed Russians with shirtless pictures and images of his virile whale-shooting prowess, generated a tribute calendar that, were it a movie, might be rated somewhere between PG-13 and R.

It's still a bit surprising that the calendar models are journalism students, and it does raise some important questions about the Russian state's control of the news media and artists there. As the Moscow News reports:

Although Russia's media under Putin has been widely seen as restricted and kept under wraps, little about these girls is left to the imagination.

But all may not be exactly what it seems: one of the models, Elena Gornostayeva, is no stranger to the camera after featuring in a steamy shoot with men's magazine Maxim.

And Moscow State University's journalism faculty distanced itself from the project.

"I saw in this calendar not journalists but young girls," faculty dean Elena Vartanova told gzt.ru. "Our students are free people and we cannot keep them from such self-expression.

"Of course we do not want the name of the faculty associated with obscene photos, but we have seen no special obscenity in this calendar."

But others were less kind, with bloggers deriding the calendar as "shameful" and complaining that the would-be journalists' antics devalued the whole Russian media. (Read more here).

In America, of course, such displays of affection by beautiful women for male political leaders have tended to come from the Hollywood set. Two examples from the 20th century most stand out in my memory. First, Marilyn Monroe's rendition of "Happy Birthday, Mr. President" for JFK:

Second, and closer to home for me (I'm a huge Lauren Bacall fan) is the famous image of Lauren Bacall atop President Truman's piano. You can see more at the Truman Library.

Are there more examples of this sort of thing you can think of?