11 Miraculous Things Vladimir Putin Has Done
Power and propaganda are closely intertwined, as any historian will tell you. World leaders throughout time have tried to portray themselves as dominant and cultured—but the shrewd glare of the modern media world has often dulled recent propaganda campaigns.
Not so in Vladimir Putin’s Russia. The country’s leader has almost single-handedly plowed his own furrow, portraying himself in a positive fashion and often receiving adulation from his subjects. The likelihood is that many of these events are staged—or otherwise, he’s some sort of superhuman.
1. Putin captures a 46 pound pike
Putin’s most recent miracle happened last month in Siberia, when he reportedly captured a 46-pound pike on a fishing trip. Coincidentally, that would make his catch one of the world’s biggest. Anglers disagreed, saying that the real weight of the fish was probably half that.
2. Putin finds ancient amphorae
Putin’s quite adept when it comes to waterborne activities. That’s the only rational explanation as to why he discovered ancient Greek urns buried under the Black Sea. The archaeological finds demonstrated the leader’s cultural side—and they just so happened to be almost pristine. This claim was so ridiculous it was later rowed back, with Putin’s spokesman fessing up to fakery.
3. Putin tracks polar bears
Putin’s also a man of nature, hoping to maintain endangered species. That’s why he was pictured attaching a satellite tracking device to a polar bear’s neck in April 2010.
4. Putin aids marine science
Putin was pictured shooting darts from a crossbow on choppy seas in order to temporarily capture a gray whale. The aim was that small skin samples would be taken from the whale to better understand the species. Putin’s nearly perfect, but not quite: “I hit it at the fourth try,” he told reporters.
5. Putin frees caged wildcats
Russia's president loves animals—in fact, he oversees research programs on many mammals. In May 2010, he symbolically released a west Asian leopard from its cage into outdoor enclosures in a wildlife sanctuary near Sochi. Some scientists believe the animals was actually injured for the photo op, a claim Putin's spokesman denied.
6. Putin saves humans from wildcats
Given Putin’s previous history with wildcats, his freeing of the leopard in May 2010 seemed unusual. After all, he had to intervene in 2008 when a Siberian tigress tried to attack a camera crew following him at the Ussuri wildlife reserve in Siberia.
7. He flies with cranes
Not only does Vladimir Putin have a preference for landborne creatures—he also is keen to save the birds, too. So it was that he took to the skies in this contraption, meant to accompany Siberian white cranes on their migratory route to Asia. Adoring cameramen just happened to be there to capture the occasion for posterity.
8. Putin visits shipwrecks
With not a hint of James Bond villainy, Putin entered a submersible in mid-July and sank to the bottom of the Gulf of Finland, some 200 feet underwater, to view a 140-year-old shipwreck.
9. Putin’s really good at hockey
In addition to his nature-centric bent, Putin’s also quite the sporting hero. So it is that he’s able to score this hockey goal against a Russian international keeper.
10. Putin’s also great at judo
Who can forget the 82-minute classic, Let’s Learn Judo with Vladimir Putin? As part of his KGB/FSB training, Putin picked up not only judo, but sambo, the Russian martial art. So skilled is Putin in judo that in November 2012 the International Judo Federation granted him a high-ranking 8th Dan, one of the highest grades possible.
11. Putin goes whitewater rafting
The Kremlin website has a whole page dedicated to Putin’s interests, including this brilliant anecdote about a rafting trip in Altai:
Putin also said that once he went whitewater rafting with his daughters down mountain rivers in Altai. “There we were in our raft (maybe I shouldn’t talk about it, but still), and some guys were standing on the bank. They were just standing there, nobody expected us to be there because we flew in quietly, boarded the raft and went down the mountain rivers. They were standing right on the bank, three of them, with these huge beer mugs. When they saw me, they called out: “Mr President, join us!” I said no, I can’t, I’m in a hurry. “Well then, here is to your health.” As if they had been waiting for me like I go rafting there every day,” Putin recalled.