Crimea: 'Putin' toilet roll causes a stir

A roll of VV toilet paper Image copyright Sevastopol News
Image caption The locally-made toilet paper (B.B. is V.V. in the Cyrillic alphabet) has caused complaints

A brand of toilet paper is causing a stir in Crimea because its name has the same initials as Russia's president, it's been reported.

The "V.V." brand toilet paper has been criticised by customers in Simferopol because it alludes to "Vladimir Vladimirovich", the first two names of Russian President Putin, Radio Free Europe says. Russia caused international anger earlier this year by annexing Crimea after Ukraine's pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych was ousted from power. Crimea's Russian majority are fiercely loyal to Moscow, and customers found the perceived link to Putin's name difficult to take, RFE reported.

The Sevastopol News newspaper said that one user was "outraged" at the fact that the maker of the product - the Simferopol Paper Mill - had included an outline of the Crimean peninsula on the roll, the implication being that the map would be put to a potentially disrespectful purpose. However, the toilet roll may just be the result of local patriotism - the packing also says "Buy Crimean!" in large letters.

Image caption Toilet rolls featuring pictures of Vladimir Putin are a popular novelty in Ukraine

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