Funds Raised by Putin’s ‘Blueberry Hill’ Performance Missing

Vladimir Putin singing "Blueberry Hill." Source: Urlesque.comLast December, usually macho Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin gained some cringeworthy YouTube notoriety for singing “Blueberry Hill” in English. The performance was part of a children’s charity concert in St. Petersburg to fight childhood cancer, but reports have now surfaced that the money raised has suspiciously disappeared. As Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reports:

The news surfaced after the mother of an ailing child tried to find out what happened to the funds.

“A very strange situation has arisen,” she wrote in an open letter. “Before and after the concert there was talk about handing over funds [to hospitals], and now it appears that no one had promised anything.”

Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, told the Interfax news agency that the prime minister had been informed about the allegations.

“We’re aware of the Internet user’s appeal in which she asks completely fair questions about what happened to the money raised at the charity event in which Prime Minister Vladimir Putin took part,” he said.

Peskov said that Putin was only a guest at the concert and not involved with the fund-raising. He declined to say who was responsible for handling the money but said the government is satisfied the “work is being carried out.”

A spokeswoman for the Federation Foundation, which held the event, told the website that it was involved only in organizing the concert and had nothing to do with collecting or distributing the donated money.

Russian media reported that former musician Vladimir Kiselyov, believed to have been responsible for spearheading the event, warned reporters “not to look for anyone.”

“No one will tell you anything,” he said. “The Federation Foundation is doing its work and you should do yours.”