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Putin wants to revive Soviet-era 'Hero of Labour' title

Published on Dec 11, 2012 6:59 AM
Russia's President Vladimir Putin looks on as he meets top activists in his presidential campaign in Moscow, on December 10, 2012. -- PHOTO: AFP

MOSCOW (AFP) - President Vladimir Putin on Monday suggested Russia should revive the Hero of Labour title, a highly-coveted Soviet-era award established in the early years of the USSR to mobilise workers and increase output.

"Of course, I think that it would be good for us to revive the Hero of Labour title, only we need to think, we cannot completely copy the Soviet times," Putin said at a meeting with his 2012 election campaign activists.

"We need to turn our attention to the man of labour wherever he works, who does his bit by using both his head and hands," the 60-year-old president said. "There should be criteria, clear and understandable criteria, not simply for the number of years of work but for the result, the contribution to the country's development."

Mr Putin, who returned to the Kremlin for a third term in May despite huge protests against his decade-long rule, once famously described the collapse of the Soviet Union as the "greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century." While a growing number of middle class urbanites are growing disillusioned with the Russian strongman, he is still popular with blue-collar workers.

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