Russian President Vladimir Putin has been taking a three-day fishing and hunting summer holiday Siberian wilderness, where he opted to be shirtless and brave the cold waters of a mountain lake. Pictures and video footage released by the Kremlin on Saturday showed Putin spear-fishing, swimming and sunbathing alongside Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu. The hunting and fishing expedition took place on Aug. 1-3 in the republic of Tyva in southern Siberia, on the Mongolian border, some 3,700 km (2,300 miles) east of Moscow.
“The water in the lake doesn’t get warmer than 17 degrees, but this didn’t stop the president from going for a swim,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Friday.
“He went hunting underwater with a mask and snorkel … The president chased after one pike for two hours, there was no way he could shoot it, but in the end he got what he wanted,” Peskov added.
The Russian President a keen practitioner of martial arts and ice hockey and is known for his strong-man publicity stunts. The image has contributed to his popularity in the country. According to some Political analysts, Putin takes adventure holidays to show the nation that he is still strong and healthy. The holiday trip comes shortly before Russian presidential election next March, though the Putin is yet to announce his candidacy he is expected to win the elections.
(Inputs from Reuters)