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Putin, Vladimir Putin

15 September 2011 / All photos: ANP /

Vladimir Putin, the 58-year-old former president and current prime minister of Russia, has cultivated a distinct public image over the past several years. The politician has piloted firefighting planes, darted whales, driven race cars, and even taken a submersible 1,400 meters (4,600 ft) below the surface of Lake Baikal.


Russian President Vladimir Putin carrying a hunting rifle in the Republic of Tuva, 15 August 2007


Vladimir Putin holds a five-year-old tiger's head as scientists put a collar with a satellite tracker on the animal in the academy of sciences Ussuri reserve in Russia's Far East, on August 31, 2008.


Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin drives an outboard motorboat during his vacation outside the town of Kyzyl in Southern Siberia on August 3, 2009


Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin swims the butterfly during his vacation outside the town of Kyzyl in Southern Siberia on August 3, 2009


Russian President Dmitry Medvedev (L) and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, accompanied by a dog, play badminton at the presidential residence in Sochi on August 14, 2009.


Russian President Dmitry Medvedev (L) and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin sit on snowmobiles as they chat in Krasnaya Polyana near the Black Sea resort of Sochi, in southern Russia on January 3, 2010.


Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin rides a horse in Karatash area near the town of Abakan while on a working trip to Khakassia, Russia 25 February 2010.


Russian President Dmitry Medvedev (R) and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (L) skiing at the Krasnaya Polyana mountain ski resort near Black sea resort of Sochi, Russia 26 March 2010


Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (R) assisting in examining a 231kg polar bear while visiting the Alexandra Land island, part of the Franz Josef Land archipalego in the Arctic Ocean in April 2010. Vladimir Putin took part in the polar bears research scientific expedition organized by the Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution.


Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is seen in a BE-200 firefighting aircraft flying over the Ryazan region, Russia 10 August 2010. Vladimir Putin took part in the firefighting action as the second pilot of the aircraft.


Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin aims a crossbow as he sails aboard a rubber motorboat during a scientific expedition to study grey whales in Olga Bay in the Kronotsky Nature preserve in Kamchatka, Russia 25 August 2010


The complete hunter.....Wearing camouflage fatigues for his hunting trip, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin wades through thick undergrowth in his pursuit of game in the Ubsunur Hollow Biosphere Preserve in Tuva Republic, Russia


Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin during test driving a Renault F 1 race car on a track outside St. Petersburg, Russia, 07 November 2010.


Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin plays pool during informal meeting with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev at the Bocharov Ruchei presidential residence in Sochi, Russia late 03 December 2010.


Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin playing a piano during a charity concert for children stricken with cancer and eye diseases in St. Petersburg, Russia, 10 December 2010


Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (front L) attends a judo training session at the Moskovsky sports and recreation center in St. Petersburg, Russia, on 22 December 2010.


Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (R) in ice hockey equipment hits a puck while taking part in young hockey players' training prior to the 'Golden Puck' tournament final at Luzhniki Arena stadium in Moscow, Russia, 15 April 2011



Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin climbs on a wall during his visit to the Seliger 2011 National Youth Forum near Lake Seliger, Tver region, Russia, 01 August 2011


Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (front) after going scuba diving in Taman Bay to view the so-called 'Russian Atlantis', the submerged part of the ancient Greek city of Phanagoria on Taman Peninsula, which Putin visited to tour the camp of archaeologists that conduct excavations of the ancient city, Krasnodarsky region, Russia, 10 August 2011.


Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin seen on a motor boat before visiting the Spaso-Preobrazhensky Valaam Monastery, Republic of Karelia, Russia, 14 August 2011.


Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin fishes on holiday on the Volga River in Astrakhan region, about 1280 kilometers south from Moscow on August 16, 2011.


Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin rides with enthusiasts during his visit to a bike festival in the southern Russian city of Novorossiisk, 29 August 2011