MOSCOW, July 26 Russian President Vladimir Putin
landed a giant pike and then shared the delicacy with Prime
Minister Dimitry Medvedev, who many say is battling for
survival, as both men were pictured together on relaxed weekend
Footage from a remote Siberian region released on Friday
showed the 60-year-old Putin wearing camouflage fatigues and
sunglasses. Often resorting to outdoor stunts to prop up his
ratings, there were shots of Putin fishing, driving a motorboat
and petting reindeers on the trip with his protege Medvedev and
Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu.
"Putin caught a pike weighing more than 21 kilograms," the
president's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, told reporters in Moscow.
"This is a huge, gigantic animal... Steaks were made from the
fish, very tasty."
Putin and Medvedev talked casually on a boat and smiled as
they drank tea together by a long table in the arranged video,
which also showed the prime minister snapping pictures of the
The friendly and relaxed atmosphere between Russia's ruling
"tandem", broadcast throughout the country by state television,
has been an increasingly scarce view since Putin returned to the
Kremlin in May 2012.
He has shown growing frustration with the performance of
Medvedev's government and concentrated more power in his own
hands, relegating the prime minister to a largely technical role
and feeding talk of the possible dismissal of his long-time
But the future may look brighter now for Medvedev after the
male getaway. Even though it was not clear if he caught any
fish, Medvedev certainly helped Putin eat his.
"Dmitry Anatolevich (Medvedev) ate the pike steaks," Peskov
also said. "He liked it a lot."
(Reporting by Darya Korsunskaya, writing by Gabriela Baczynska;
Editing by David Evans)