Vladimir Putin Lands Job As City Mayoral Advisor in West Ukraine

Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Putin visits the construction site of a bridge across the Kerch Strait on Tuzla island near the Black Sea port of Kerch, Crimea, March 18. Novosti/reuters

Ukrainian politics has featured many eyebrow-raising characters, including Darth Vader. But a west Ukrainian mayor has made perhaps the most shocking appointment of all—by hiring Vladimir Putin as an advisor.

Alexander Simchshin, mayor of Khmelnitsky and from the pro-EU party Svoboda, has asked Putin to use his security expertise to advise him, news agency Ukrainskie Novosti reported Thursday.

The new hiring is not quite an extension of an olive branch to the Russian Kremlin on the Ukrainian city's behalf. For Khmelnitskiy's latest mayoral aide is just the Russian president's namesake.

Around 20 years the leader's junior, Vladimir Vasilievich Putin, 44, is a business owner operating a private security firm. Simchshin's new advisor has three university degrees and his appointment has made headlines in the Ukrainian and Russian press.

In October 2015, another Ukrainian Putin, Georgy Putin, put himself forward for election on Odessa's local elections but was unsuccessful.

In July 2015, Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, a mechanic who also shares his middle name with the Russian leader, contested a seat in the local elections of Russia's Bryansk region. Ironically, the man was found ineligible to run after he reportedly submitted incorrect information in his application.