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Behind the iron curtain: Vladimir Putin's fitness secrets include swimming and playing with his dog

World leaders are busy people. Having to run a nation and make decisions that could affect millions often weighs heavily on their heads. Most presidents and leaders are not usually pictures of health.

Vladmir Putin working out. Getty images

Vladimir Putin working out. Getty images

However, Vladimir Putin seems like the exception. Putin likes to portray himself as a strapping, macho leader. Indeed, Putin has often been spotted riding horses and spear fishing in Russia's icy lakes. Shirtless, mind you.

A report in the Independent  — based on a 2014 profile of Putin by Newsweek’s Ben Judah, who spent three years researching the foreign leader for his book, Fragile Empire: How Russia Fell in and Out of Love with Vladimir Putin —  shows the efforts the Russian leader goes through to cultivate his larger-than-life persona.

According to the report, Putin's schedule starts later than most leaders. Breakfast, being the most important meal of the day, does command a special importance from Putin. His ingredients are "dispatched regularly from the farmland estates of the Patriarch Kirill, Russia's religious leader", says the report.

Business Insider reported that after a breakfast of eggs and fruit juice, Putin swims for a grueling two hours everyday. The report said that Putin 'gets much of Russia's thinking done,' while in the water.

Putin then goes to the gym, often for an hour or more, BBC reported in 2015. Keeping up with his tough guy image, he is often seen working out with several other prominent Russian leaders.

Behind this carefully constructed, strong-man persona, Judah manages to capture the real Putin, whose love for animals is well documented. Business Insider reported how a badly behaved dog brought a smile to Putin's face when his dog Yume strolled into an interview and barked at Japanese journalists.

According to a CNN report, Putin responded by giving the doggie a treat and showing off some of her tricks.

According to Independent, although his online presence is very limited, his assistant often shows him videos of people mocking him on the internet. So the next time you post a video mocking Putin online, think twice.

An excerpt from the book reads, "The President behaves as though he is made of bronze, as if he shines. He seems to know that they will flinch when meeting his eye. He doesn’t talk, the interpreter says. He feels no need to smile. At any one time there are 10 people around him. You cannot get more than three metres close to him because the space is guarded so carefully. He is endlessly surrounded by whispering aides, cameramen, bodyguards."

Every few weeks, Putin plays one of his favorite past sports, ice hockey. The Russian president participates in a league, squaring off against teams of bodyguards. USA Today reported that Putin’s opponents and teammates alike tend to give him quite a bit of space during the games.

We don't blame them.







Updated Date: Jun 11, 2017 22:17 PM

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