02/12/2011 06:54 GMT | Updated 01/02/2012 05:12 GMT

Russia: Presidential Candidates Square Up With Rival Beauties (Pictures)

Russian presidential candidates Vladimir Putin and Dmitry Medvedev have recruited some unusual political allies for their rival campaigns.

At a recent meeting with bloggers at the Kremlin, Medvedev appeared flanked by a bevvy of teenage female supporters - all dressed as cheerleaders.

Not to be outdone, Putin recruited the help of some equally nubile politicos in the shape of bikini-clad car washers for a recent re-election rally.

Both candidates have received criticism for their use of attractive young ladies in their campaigns.

In a recent online advert for Putin's United Russia party, a young woman was shown dragging a boy into a polling booth, sparking controversy amongst opposition politicians.

However, the furore is unlikely to derail Putin's return to the presidency. The former KGB operative, who stepped down in 2008, is widely expected to win next year's vote.

Check out our gallery of Kremlin crumpet, saucy Soviets and Bolshevik bunnies... "Putin" it about.