While many Ukrainians are likely to appreciate the support here, the manner in which this curse was cast happens to be illegal.

Local police have arrested a 72-year-old man who was apparently trying to place a curse on Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Officers at Matsudo-Higashi Police Station announced on June 15 they arrested Mitsunobu Hino on suspicion of breaking and entering and damaging property.

Police said a straw doll was nailed to a sacred tree at Mikazukijinja shrine at about 2:10 p.m. on May 19.

The face of the doll had what looked like a photo of Putin’s face attached with the kanji character for bad luck written on its forehead.

Hammering a nail into a straw doll is a traditional form of placing a curse on the individual the doll represents, akin to voodoo dolls.

Several security cameras in the vicinity caught an individual who resembled Hino near the shrine, leading to his arrest.

Since mid-May, about 10 similar incidents have been discovered at various shrines in Matsudo and police are looking into any connections they may have with the latest case.

Hino is accused of trespassing on the grounds of Matsudo’s Mikazuki Shrine at around 2.10pm on May 19, and making holes in a shinboku – a sacred tree – by nailing the straw doll to it.

Police have confirmed similar Putin straw dolls at more than 10 shrines in the eastern Japan city since May, and said there is a strong chance the perpetrator is the same due to resemblances in the dolls’ sizes and the handwriting on the accompanying notes.

Security camera footage from the shrine’s grounds captured a man who appears to be Hino putting an item that looks like a straw doll into his bag and going up the stairs.

Two holes that are 4cm (1.6 inches) deep have been left in the sacred tree.