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16 May, 2009
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is doing his bit for Russia's embattled carmakers during the financial crisis, showing off his brand new set of wheels – a home-grown Niva 4x4.
Journalists watched outside Putin's Black Sea residence in Sochi as he drove the Niva off-road, which is produced by the country's biggest auto manufacturer, Avtovaz.
The PM then invited reporters to take a ride, and said he would use his new SUV to get to nearby fishing hotspots. Putin then called on others to follow his example by supporting domestic producers during the global economic downturn.