The race for the Russian presidential elections officially begins today, with parties submitting their lists of candidates. After keeping journalists and their audiences guessing for over a year, Vladmir Putin has decided to run for President after all.  And while everyone is raising questions about the possible democratization and modernization of Russia, the one question that they should be asking is: ‘How much hair does Putin have?’

In a startlingly odd chain of coincidences, Russian leadership has followed a strict pattern for hundreds of years. Starting with Catherine I, who became Czarina in 1725, upto Mevedev, the current President, the Russian empire has been presided by people who are alternatively full haired and bald.

The line of succession has been:
Catherine I – Full-haired
Peter II – Bald (shaved for wig)
Anna I – Full-haired
Ivan IV – Bald (infant Emperor)
Elizabeth – Full-haired
Peter III – Bald (shaved for wig)
Catherine II – Full-haired
Paul I – Bald(ing)
Alexander I – Full-haired
Nicholas I – Bald
Alexander II – Full-haired
Alexander III – Bald
Nicholas II – Full-haired
Lenin – Bald
Stalin – Full-haired
Khrushchev – Bald
Brezhnev – Full-haired
Andropov – Bald(ing)
Chernenko – Full-haired
Gorbachev – Bald
Yeltsin – Full-haired
Putin – Bald(ing)
Medvedev – Full-haired

Which means that the Russians are certain to have a bald President next, and Putin can take comfort in his rapidly receeding hairline. Because judging by the luxurious crop of hair on the head of his rival Mikhail Porokhov, it looks like it will be an easy race.