Russian President Vladimir Putin's art of the photo op

Russia's President Vladimir Putin has carefully cultivated a macho image for years with a series of photo ops including taking a dip in icy waters, riding shirtless on horseback, throwing opponents on the judo mat, freeing tigers into the wild and swimming butterfly stroke in a river.

Let's take a look:

Horse riding

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has in the past presented himself sitting proud, bare-chested on a horse, but on Friday he admitted to taking a fall.

“They were once filming me, I was training, and it happened that the horse stopped in front of a barrier and I did a somersault, literally a somersault,” Putin was quoted as saying by the TASS news agency on Friday.

(Photograph:Reuters)

Skinny dipping

The 68-year-old who has been in power in Russia for more than two decades as president or prime minister took a dip in icy waters in the water during Orthodox Epiphany celebrations at lake Seliger, Tver region.

(Photograph:Reuters)

Judo

Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, a black belt in judo, is a one-time judo champion in his native city of St Petersburg.

 

(Photograph:Reuters)

Animal lover

Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin holds a five-year-old tiger's head as scientists put on a collar with a satellite tracker on the animal in the academy of sciences Ussuri reserve in Russia's Far East August 31, 2008.

(Photograph:Reuters)

Sharp shooter

Russian President Vladimir Putin stands with a gun at a shooting gallery in the new GRU military intelligence headquarters building as he visits it in Moscow.

He hit four out of five targets at 50 meters (yards) when he shot a special rifle for visually impaired people which makes a noise when aimed correctly.

(Photograph:Reuters)

Adventurer

Russia's President Vladimir Putin is seen through the glass of C-Explorer 5 submersible after a dive to see the remains of the naval frigate "Oleg", which sank in the 19th century, in the Gulf of Finland in the Baltic Sea.

(Photograph:Reuters)

Sports enthusiast

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko (R) play an ice hockey game at Shayba Arena in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Russia.

(Photograph:Reuters)

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