Emotional Putin flees cameras after mentor's funeral
SAINT PETERSBURG (AFP) - Russian President Vladimir Putin attempted to flee the cameras on Friday after attending the funeral of his childhood mentor and judo trainer, Mr Anatoly Rakhlin, in an unusual show of emotion.
Russian television showed Mr Putin emerging from viewing his teacher's body lying in state in his native city of Saint Petersburg and waving away his black limousine.
He then told members of his vast entourage that he wanted to walk ahead alone, before heading alone down a long street and crossing a road running along the River Neva.
In footage filmed by RT channel, it is clear that his security detail followed close behind, while local residents said on Internet forums that the street had been closed off for Mr Putin.