Cranes, planes, urns and eight ice-hocky goals: Six times Vladimir Putin has played the all-Russian action hero

Billy Ehrenberg
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Annexing on ice (Source: Getty)

Vladimir Putin is the king (or perhaps tsar) of the publicity stunt. Not content with annexing such macho activities as hunting on horseback, fishing, and archaeology Putin took to the ice to score a devastating eight goals in an ice hockey match involving ex-NHL legends.

Putin was, of course, on the winning side in the 18-6 victory.

Putin’s display comes after rumours of ill health have been swirling, after he disappeared from the public eye earlier in the year.

This is not, of course, the first time Putin has thrust himself into the limelight wearing un-presidential garbs. Here are five more occasions when Putin has gone full-macho.

First, here's the ice-hockey video:

Finding Greek urns

In 2011, Putin went Scuba diving in the Black Sea, only to return from the depths brandisg=hing two ancient Greek urns, The world watched in awe, not a little doubtful that, while Putin was unearthing aquatic treasures, Russia had unearthed its own Indiana Jones. Putin’s spokesman burst the bubble later however, when he admitted that urns had been placed conveniently for the Russian President to ‘find’.

Crane plane

The scene was a desperate one. Russia’s crane population was dwindling, and one of its only hopes was a captive breeding programme. The birds needed to be shown their migration route, but this was easier said than done: and intrepid pilot would need to guide the endangered Siberian cranes to a winter home.

The mission was perilous; the pilot would need to brave freezing temperatures to pilot a flimsy micro-light aircraft in order to give the birds directions. Only one man was up to the job.

Suckling leopard cubs

In 2014, Putin faced a deadly predator in close proximity – and live to tell the tale. He was pictured cuddling a six-month-old Persian leopard – part of a programme to rehabilitate the endangered species.

While Putin’s air of natural grandeur and fearlessness calmed the cat, several reporters were later mauled; one suffered a horrifically scratched hand and a second a nipped knee.

Hunting on horseback

Hunting shirtless (or well suited in animal skins) on horseback is something of a Putin special. It evokes the image of great American cowboys crossing the plains and make the president seem close to agrarian Russia.


As at home in the water as he is on land, Putin has also mastered fishing. Here he is suffering the often unforgiving Russian climate wearing little more than a magisterial expression.

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