Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has been nominated for the Hero of Russia award, Russia’s highest honour.
The award nomination was put forward by a group of pro-Putin journalists, who asked that federal law makers in the country bestow the title to their president amidst a recent surge of international criticism against the leader.
The journalists, who all come from state-run and pro-Putin publications from the country’s Far East, have claimed that the award should be given for “preserving the territorial integrity of Russia, for the endurance and firmness of his patriotic views, for defending the interests of our nation in the entire world and for the declaration of free expression in accordance with the law”.
News of the nomination comes after widespread criticism of Putin’s rule in relation to his actions in Ukraine and his handling of the resulting crisis.
The award, normally reserved for acts of heroism and bravery in the military, was first awarded in 1992 to recognise Russian citizens who have brought honour to their country through bravery and courage.
If Putin is granted the award by Russian authorities he will be added to a long list of Russians who have received the honour, including Olympians, cosmonauts and the designer of the AK-47.