Reuters

Putin's macho image

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Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin rides a horse in southern Siberia's Tuva region, August 3, 2009. REUTERS/RIA Novosti/Pool/Alexei Druzhinin

Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin rides a horse in southern Siberia's Tuva region, August 3, 2009. REUTERS/RIA Novosti/Pool/Alexei Druzhinin

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Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin swims in a lake in southern Siberia's Tuva region, August 3, 2009. REUTERS/RIA Novosti/Pool/Alexei Druzhinin

Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin swims in a lake in southern Siberia's Tuva region, August 3, 2009. REUTERS/RIA Novosti/Pool/Alexei Druzhinin

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Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin holds a tranquilliser gun as he visits the academy of sciences Ussuri reserve in Russia's far east, August 31, 2008. REUTERS/RIA Novosti/Kremlin/Alexei Druzhinin

Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin holds a tranquilliser gun as he visits the academy of sciences Ussuri reserve in Russia's far east, August 31, 2008. REUTERS/RIA Novosti/Kremlin/Alexei Druzhinin

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Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin fires darts with a crossbow at an endangered grey whale from a motorboat in Olga Bay in the Sea of Japan, August 25, 2010. REUTERS/Ria Novosti/Pool/Alexei Druzhinin

Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin fires darts with a crossbow at an endangered grey whale from a motorboat in Olga Bay in the Sea of Japan, August 25, 2010. REUTERS/Ria Novosti/Pool/Alexei Druzhinin

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Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin drives a snowmobile at Russia's ski resort Krasnaya Polyana near Sochi in southern Russia, January 3, 2010. REUTERS/RIA Novosti/Kremlin/Dmitry Astakhov

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin drives a snowmobile at Russia's ski resort Krasnaya Polyana near Sochi in southern Russia, January 3, 2010. REUTERS/RIA Novosti/Kremlin/Dmitry Astakhov

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Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin attends a judo training session at Top Athletic School in St. Petersburg December 18, 2009. REUTERS/Ria Novosti/Pool/Alexei Druzhinin

Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin attends a judo training session at Top Athletic School in St. Petersburg December 18, 2009. REUTERS/Ria Novosti/Pool/Alexei Druzhinin

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Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin plays badminton with President Dmitry Medvedev during their meeting in the official vacation residence of Bocharov Ruchei in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, August 14, 2009. REUTERS/Ria Novosti/Kremlin/Dmitry Astakhov

Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin plays badminton with President Dmitry Medvedev during their meeting in the official vacation residence of Bocharov Ruchei in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, August 14, 2009. REUTERS/Ria Novosti/Kremlin/Dmitry Astakhov

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Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin holds a dental borer as he jokes with Governor of Belgorod region Yevgeny Savchenko at a dental room of a local hospital in the village of Golovchino in Belgorod region November 15, 2011. REUTERS/Alexei Nikolsky/RIA Novosti/Pool

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin holds a dental borer as he jokes with Governor of Belgorod region Yevgeny Savchenko at a dental room of a local hospital in the village of Golovchino in Belgorod region November 15, 2011. REUTERS/Alexei Nikolsky/RIA Novosti/Pool

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Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin feeds a young elk at the national park 'Losiny Ostrov' (Elk Island) in northeast Moscow, June 5, 2010. REUTERS/RIA Novosti/Pool/Alexei Druzhinin

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin feeds a young elk at the national park 'Losiny Ostrov' (Elk Island) in northeast Moscow, June 5, 2010. REUTERS/RIA Novosti/Pool/Alexei Druzhinin

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Russian President Vladimir Putin walks along the Khemchik River in southern Siberia's Tuva region August 15, 2007. REUTERS/RIA Novosti/KREMLIN

Russian President Vladimir Putin walks along the Khemchik River in southern Siberia's Tuva region August 15, 2007. REUTERS/RIA Novosti/KREMLIN

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Russian President Vladimir Putin stands with a gun at a shooting gallery of the new GRU military intelligence headquarters building as he visits it in Moscow November 8, 2006. REUTERS/ITAR-TASS/PRESIDENTIAL

Russian President Vladimir Putin stands with a gun at a shooting gallery of the new GRU military intelligence headquarters building as he visits it in Moscow November 8, 2006. REUTERS/ITAR-TASS/PRESIDENTIAL

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Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin carries artifacts he recovered whilst diving at an archaeological site off the Taman peninsular in southern Russia August 10, 2011. REUTERS/Alexsey Druginyn/RIA Novosti/Pool

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin carries artifacts he recovered whilst diving at an archaeological site off the Taman peninsular in southern Russia August 10, 2011. REUTERS/Alexsey Druginyn/RIA Novosti/Pool

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Russian President Vladimir Putin watches the launch of a missile during naval exercises in Russia's Arctic North on board the nuclear missile cruiser Pyotr Veliky (Peter the Great), August 17, 2005. REUTERS/ITAR-TASS/PRESIDENTIAL PRESS SERVICE

Russian President Vladimir Putin watches the launch of a missile during naval exercises in Russia's Arctic North on board the nuclear missile cruiser Pyotr Veliky (Peter the Great), August 17, 2005. REUTERS/ITAR-TASS/PRESIDENTIAL PRESS SERVICE

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Russia's President Vladimir Putin fishes in the Yenisei River in Siberia as he makes a tour together with Prince Albert II of Monaco, August 13, 2007. REUTERS/RIA Novosti/KREMLIN

Russia's President Vladimir Putin fishes in the Yenisei River in Siberia as he makes a tour together with Prince Albert II of Monaco, August 13, 2007. REUTERS/RIA Novosti/KREMLIN

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Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin enjoy some fishing on the river Volga in Russia's Astrakhan region August 16, 2011. REUTERS/Mikhail Klimentyev/RIA Novosti/Kremlin

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin enjoy some fishing on the river Volga in Russia's Astrakhan region August 16, 2011. REUTERS/Mikhail Klimentyev/RIA Novosti/Kremlin

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Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin talks to a member of the "Lena-2010" Russian-German scientific expedition near a table of excavated bones on Samoilovsky Island in the Far Eastern Federal District, August 23, 2010. REUTERS/Ria Novosti/Pool/Alexei Druzhinin

Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin talks to a member of the "Lena-2010" Russian-German scientific expedition near a table of excavated bones on Samoilovsky Island in the Far Eastern Federal District, August 23, 2010. REUTERS/Ria Novosti/Pool/Alexei Druzhinin

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Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is seen onboard a motorboat before visiting the Spaso-Preobrazhensky Valaam Monastery in Karelia, northwestern Russia, August 14, 2011. REUTERS/Alexsey Druginyn/RIA Novosti/Pool

Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is seen onboard a motorboat before visiting the Spaso-Preobrazhensky Valaam Monastery in Karelia, northwestern Russia, August 14, 2011. REUTERS/Alexsey Druginyn/RIA Novosti/Pool

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Russia's President Vladimir Putin fishes in the Yenisei River in Siberia as he makes a tour together with Prince Albert II of Monaco, August 13, 2007. REUTERS/RIA Novosti/KREMLIN

Russia's President Vladimir Putin fishes in the Yenisei River in Siberia as he makes a tour together with Prince Albert II of Monaco, August 13, 2007. REUTERS/RIA Novosti/KREMLIN

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Russian President Dmitry Medvedev prepares to dive with an underwater camera in the river Volga in Russia's Astrakhan region, August 16, 2011. REUTERS/Mikhail Klimentyev/RIA Novosti/Kremlin

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev prepares to dive with an underwater camera in the river Volga in Russia's Astrakhan region, August 16, 2011. REUTERS/Mikhail Klimentyev/RIA Novosti/Kremlin

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Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin travels in Russia's first high speed train Sapsan in Leningrad Region December 19, 2009. REUTERS/Ria Novosti/Alexei Druzhinin/Pool

Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin travels in Russia's first high speed train Sapsan in Leningrad Region December 19, 2009. REUTERS/Ria Novosti/Alexei Druzhinin/Pool

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