Russian President Vladimir Putin's Kremlin Christmas tree is days away from being erected – and it has emerged that it is bigger than the one gifted to the UK to put up in London's Trafalgar Square.
The despotic leader launched a competition spanning the entire country to find the perfect Christmas Tree to erect outside the Kremlin.
And he ended up chopping down a 95-year-old historic spruce from the area of Volokolamsk for his own personal pleasure.
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The competition asked for – or probably demanded, knowing Putin – that 62 villages and Russian areas submitted trees for Putin to use.
Out of those 62, only 37 trees made it to the short list of what we're calling Christmas Trees Got Talent.
The winning tree came from the Gryady village in Volokolamsk.
And it has now been felled for Putin's pleasure, and finds itself on the way to the Kremlin to be erected by the end of the week.
Official measurements of the old spruce show that it reaches around 27 metres tall – a full six metres bigger than the one gifted to London by Norway a few weeks ago.
It also have a chunky trunk, measuring around 56 centimetres.
In classic Putin style, a fancy ceremony was held at the site of the tree cutting, invluving a school choir.
the head of the Volokolamsk city district, Mikhail Sylka said: “In the run-up to the New Year, when the fir tree is a must-have, the best spruce was chosen on our territory, according to specialists.
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“Of course, we are proud and honoured, especially since this tree was found by our young foresters, who attend forestry class.”
London's tree, the 75th to be sent to the UK from Norway, stands at 68ft (21m) tall, and is given as a thanks for how Britain supported Norway during the Second World War.
The tree is felled in Oslo in a ceremony attended by the Lord Mayor of Westminster, the British ambassador to Norway and the Mayor of Oslo. It is then shipped to London by sea and decorated in Trafalgar Square in traditional Norwegian fashion.
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This year's sorry-looking tree was ridiculed on social media.
Crudely, writer Mollie Goodfellow compared it to something only around half of the UK's population will know about.
She wrote: “This is like the bit on the end of that stick they use for a smear test.”
Several people also compared it to a “twig”.
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