In the 1990s, the year Vladimir Putin in the role of Deputy Governor of St. Petersburg, often visited Turku. One of these trips left for the future President of Russia the eternal trail.
1992. Vladimir Putin, the Vice Governor of St. Petersburg, arrived in the twin-city of Turku, and brought with him a large delegation, consisting mainly of regional chapters of the city on the Neva.
The program was very rich, but officials had time and for entertainment, such as football.
The captain of the first team, was, of course, Vladimir Vladimirovich. It includes hotels in Turku St. Petersburg, in particular the current Governor, Georgy Poltavchenko. The second team called “Children of the Archbishop” (Piispan pojat) played the Finns: Archbishop John vikström (John Vikström), then mayor of Turku Juhani Leppa (Juhani Leppä) and others.
“Putin, of course, played in the attack. He always liked to score goals,” says Juhani Leppa.
The match was resistant. Everyone wanted to win, and seething passion. At one point Putin and Archbishop vikström both rushed to the ball and…
“Vikström, apparently, accidentally tripped up Putin — says Lippa, he fell and, as it turned out, broke my collarbone”.
Severe pain in the shoulder Putin complained the next morning.
“In 2013, when Putin was here the last time, he took my hand and asked to touch his collarbone. I found a rather large lump. I told him that if breaks Turku, Turku well and repairs. We have also opened a new hospital there for the athletes. But he said that the clavicle has already been operated on,” smiles Leppa.
Leppa wondered whether Putin went to the doctor in Turku right after the incident. The next day the entire delegation returned to St. Petersburg.
“I talked to our sports physicians, and we randomly started talking about the gait of Putin. When I told them about what happened, they said with certainty that he walks a little right shoulder forward because of injuries to the clavicle. I used to think maybe it’s because of judo, but the doctors think otherwise.”
It tells Leppa, memoirs of Archbishop Vigstrema, published last fall, he jokes: “I’m probably the only person in the world who force stopped Putin”.
Putin has already 25 years ago had the qualities of a leader
Juhani Leppa first met Putin in the early 1990-ies, and they communicated for many years.
“For example, we were together in the Spa Naantali in 1992-1995 years. When his daughter swam, he like any other father, shouted to them that they should be careful.”
It was already obvious that Putin has the qualities of a leader.
“At the time the schedule was always Technogym, and he was never late — not that now. All of our arrangements were implemented. Even then, we were surprised that he holds all the threads in his hands. He was a very organized person.”
Sometimes Putin met with his friends from Turku during visits to the summer residence of the President of Kultaranta. The last time the President of Russia and the former mayor of Turku was seen in 2013.
“Before we met, probably, a year earlier. It is always a pleasure to see you. We remember the old and not talking about the current problems.”
Turku and Saint Petersburg still have close ties. From Monday to Wednesday in Turku hosted the Congress of sister cities of Russia and Finland, which was attended by mayors. Putin even sent a greeting to participants of the Congress.
“Putin said that part of his heart will forever remain in Turku. This piece we, the residents of Turku, cherish” — with a smile tells Leppa.