Putin goes quadricycling, rafting, and spearfishing on two-day Siberian adventure vacation

Andrew Beddow Freelance Writer 

11:01 PM 08/01/2017

He took a fishing and mushroom-hunting trip to Siberia, where the Kremlin allowed photos to be taken of the president while in action mode (and at rest).

Russian President Vladimir Putin swims while holding a fish he caught in southern Siberia.

In images and footage released by Russian state television, Putin and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu can be seen enjoying the outdoors, The Associated Press reports. The hunting and fishing expedition took place on August 1-3 in the republic of Tyva in southern Siberia, on the Mongolian border, some 3,700 km (2,300 miles) east of Moscow.

During the trip earlier this week across pristine mountain rivers and lakes in the forested near the border with Mongolia, Putin also tried for the first time to fish underwater with a spear gun.

In addition to using a rod, Mr. Putin also went spearfishing, eventually catching a pike after what his spokesman, Dmitri S. Peskov, said was a two-hour hunt.

Photos of the vacationing Putin show the Russian leader sitting shirtless and accompanied by Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, who was also pictured shirtless and wearing camouflage trousers.

"He went hunting underwater with a mask and snorkel".

The Russian President a keen practitioner of martial arts and ice hockey and is known for his strong-man publicity stunts.

In December 2016, the administration of former US President Barack Obama imposed a set of punitive measures against Russia, including the expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats and the closure of the two Russian diplomatic compounds. The image has contributed to his popularity in the country.

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