Putin Burnishes Macho Credentials in New Propaganda Pics

Tom Porter

In what has become something of an annual tradition, Russian President Vladimir Putin posed for shirtless action pictures while on his summer vacation.

The images released to Russian state media showed the president taking a two-day time-out from his presidential workload, and engaging in a spot of pike fishing and swimming in the Tuva region of Siberia.

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Putin shows of his catch Russian Presidential press service

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In the images, Putin relaxes with Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu as the two catch some sun.

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Putin relaxes with Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu handout

Kremlin press secretary Dmitry Peskov said in Russian state news outlet Pravda that the president donned scuba gear and a Go Pro as he pursued a pike for two hours on the fishing expedition, with images showing Putin emerging from underwater with his catch.

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Putin swims in the chilly Siberian waters. handout

Putin has become infamous for his macho posturing in publicity pictures, which political analysts say aim to  portray the president as vigorous and healthy, in contrast to the elderly leaders of the Soviet Union or his frequently drunk predecessor Boris Yeltsin.

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Russia's presidents returns from the depths of the lake with his catch. Handout

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A much parodied 2009 image showed Putin riding bare chested on horseback in the Tuva region. Previous images have shown Putin helping to navigate migrating cranes in a hang glider, and salvaging archeological treasures in a submarine.

Peskov said the president was on his way to  the city of Blagoveshchensk when he stopped off for the break, and promised more footage of the expedition would soon be available. 

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