Putin in women's underwear artist 'flees Russia'

A visitor takes a picture of the artwork entitled "Travesty" by Konstantin Altunin Credit: Reuters

An artist who painted Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev in women's underwear has reportedly fled the country.

The director of St Petersburg's Museum of Power said Konstantin Altunin had left for France where he plans to request asylum after police seized the satirical painting and three others yesterday.

Police have not specified which laws may have been violated by the provocative artworks but Russian law prohibits insulting of state authorities, the Associated Press reports.