Ukraine war: Vladimir Putin gets a tractor for his 70th birthday

A tractor is one of the odder gifts for Vladimir Putin, as Russia’s president, a pariah in the West since his invasion of Ukraine, turns 70.

It was given him by his Belarusian ally, Alexander Lukashenko, whose country boasts a tractor works.

Mr Lukashenko confirmed the news as he visited his fellow strongman’s home city, St Petersburg, for talks.

Mr Putin was hosting other leaders of ex-Soviet states as the war fanned by his invasion raged.

Faced with successful Ukrainian counter-attacks, he hinted at problems this week, describing the situation in regions he recently annexed as “restive”.

But on Friday, his allies lavished praise and gifts on the man who has led Russia, whether as president or prime minister, for more than two decades.

Mr Lukashenko, Europe’s self-styled “last dictator” who has been in power even longer than the Russian leader (since 1994) and whose administration is also under Western sanctions, came to St Petersburg with a gift certificate for the…

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This article was written by and originally published on www.bbc.co.uk