Vladimir Putin has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.
No, that isn't a joke.
Despite his country's role in selling arms to Syria, war-mongering in Chechnya and Georgia, his KGB past and Russia's poor human rights and corruption record, the Russian president has been nominated.
According to the New York Times, the Russian group that put his name forward is the International Academy of Spiritual Unity and Cooperation of Peoples of the World. Its members believe Putin should be recognised for his efforts to dismantle Syria's stockpile of chemical weapons.
The Nobel committee received the nomination letter last month but the news wasn't announced until this week.
"Being the leader of one of the leading nations of the world, Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin makes efforts to maintain peace and tranquillity not only on the territory of his own country but also actively promotes settlement of all conflicts arising on the planet," the group said in its letter to the committee.
The move had the backing of Russian MP Iosif Kobzon, who said Putin was a more worthy recipient than Barack Obama, who won the 2009 prize even though he'd only been president for a year.
"Barack Obama is the man who has initiated and approved the United States' aggressive actions in Iraq and Afghanistan - now he is preparing for an invasion into Syria. He bears this title nevertheless," Kobzon said.
"Our president, who tries to stop the bloodshed and who tries to help the conflict situation with political dialogue, is more worthy of this high title."
The winner of the 2014 prize will be announced next October.
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