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15 Oct, 2010 12:53

Man who spurned $1 mln prize is face of anti-poverty ad

Man who spurned $1 mln prize is face of anti-poverty ad

A reclusive Russian mathematician, who rejected a one million dollar prize, is speaking to thousands of Ukrainians from billboards, about the need for higher pensions.

Publicity-shy Grigory Perelman, who was awarded the top math honor in 2006, was unaware his face is now being used in a political campaign.

He turned down the prize fund for the Fields Award, dubbed the math Nobel, saying he was not interested in money or fame.

Yet his photograph is on political billboards in the Ukrainian city of Nikolaev. He’s shown wearing cheap clothes, walking with a plastic bag in hand.

The statement under the photo says: “My pension was increased by 7 hryvnias! [88 US cents], on October 31, I’ll vote for the Party of Regions!”

However, as a Russian citizen it’s unlikely he’ll be casting his ballot in Ukraine’s local election.