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[9 Jul 2009]

Here are three tributes from Russia as they mourn the King of Pop's recent death.   Michael Shalenko-Jackson is Born A 29 year old Russian woman has chosen to name her newborn son after Michael Jackson. Yevgenia Shalenko gave birth to her son on the day of Jackson’s death, learning that the King of Pop had died right after recovering from labor. She has filed a request to register her son’s name as Michael Shalenko-Jackson. Shalenko’s infant is just one example in a trend Jackson namesakes following the icon’s death.   Liger in Russia: "It's Pretty Much My Favorite Animal" Another noteworthy “Michael Jackson” to emerge from Russia is the newborn liger cub at the Volgograd Zoo in central Russia. The rare cub was named in honor of the late pop star, thanks to the zoo director’s love of Jackson’s music.   Moonwalking in Red Square Forever Another Russian fan said that the Moscow government should remove Lenin’s body from its Tomb on Red Square and have Michael Jackson’s body placed there instead for good, Novy Region news agency reports.  The fan, Alexander Valov, a music producer, told the news agency that he went to the US Embassy in Moscow soon after the news about the singer’s death. “I wanted to pay tribute to him there, to lay some flowers. I thought on the way to the embassy that it would be great to have his body embalmed and placed in Lenin’s Tomb on Red Square,” the man said.  Alexander Valov is certain that Michael Jackson would see the true value of such a suggestion. The man even said that he was already in talks with the sponsors who would be ready to invest in the project, as well as with the singer’s family – to have the body delivered to Moscow.

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[8 Jul 2009]

If Americans think they are alone in their heartache over Michael Jackson’s recent passing, they may be surprised to find their grief shared by the people of Russia and Ukraine. From a candlelight vigil held in Moscow days after the King of Pop’s death to a reported proposal to re-name a village in eastern Ukraine after Jackson, evidence of the region’s infatuation can be seen everywhere.   Jackson’s 1993 performance in Moscow made him the first international pop star to perform in Russia after the fall of the Soviet Union two years earlier. Up until then, it had been illegal to even purchase his songs. His concert seemed to spark a love for all things American in a generation of young Russians, many of whom had never even seen an image of him before the performance.   Now that the man who brought American music and pop culture to Moscow has passed away, many Russian and Ukrainian fans mourn the absence of another cultural icon. Even if his English lyrics were not understood, the energy in his music and images in his videos speaks in a universal language that people all over the world can understand and appreciate.   A makeshift shrine honoring the King of Pop can be seen near the American Embassy in Moscow, honoring the man whose music and life touched the world.

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[7 Jul 2009]

A lawmaker in eastern Ukraine has put forward a proposal to re-name a village after pop icon Michael Jackson, a media report said. According to Zaporozhye Region’s Reporter newspaper, one of the factions in the legislature has already discussed the proposal, and it could be put to a vote soon. The lawmaker has proposed renaming the Oktyabrskoye village, the newspaper said. Michael Jackson, who spent more than four decades in the public spotlight, died following a heart attack at the age of 50 June 26 just weeks before he was to launch a series of comeback concerts in London.