MOSCOW, February 16 (RIA Novosti)
He has dived to the bottom of Lake Baikal, flown a fighter jet and recently took up ice hockey.
On Thursday Vladimir Putin, 59, looked to beef up his action man image by riding on a sled.
The Russian prime minister was visiting a bobsled complex outside Moscow when he could not resist the urge to take a ride himself despite warnings from athletes who said he lacked “training,” a RIA Novosti correspondent reported.
Sledder Alexei Shadeyev piloted the two-man sled which only reached the bottom of the run after a second attempt.
“It’s great, I recommend it to you,” Putin, who refused to wear a special bobsled suit, told journalists after the ride.
Putin, who served as a KGB agent in former East Germany in the 1980s, also refreshed his German skills by speaking to a Russian sled team Lichtensteinian coach, Wolfgang Schedler.
Putin remains Russia’s most popular politician and is widely tipped to win next month’s presidential election. However, analysts suggest rising discontent among Russia’s nascent middle class could see him forced into a potentially embarrassing runoff.
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Sevastopol became Russia’s main naval base on the Black Sea, a role it was to play for many years. A total of 25,000 servicemen, not including civilian staff, are employed at the Black fleet’s facilities. When the families of these servicemen are taken into account, this figure grows to more than 100,000 people.