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Putin brandishes dentist's drill in latest publicity stunt

You don't mess with a man brandishing a dentist's drill, especially if he's an ex-KGB agent.

You don't mess with a man brandishing a dentist's drill, especially if he's an ex-KGB agent.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has tried his hand at a spot of dentistry during an official visit to the province of Belgorod, some 600 kilometres south of Moscow.

While visiting a local hospital, Putin looked like he was about to give Yevgeny Savchenko, governor of Belgorod Region, an oral scraping with a dental drill.

"Sit down, please. If you don't buy the new equipment, I will come back and treat everyone with this," he joked, according to his official website.

"I promise! I will," the governor responded.

"I know this man," Putin then told hospital staff. "He always delivers on his promises."

Earlier this year, staff at the Golovchino hospital complained they had to work using old medical equipment. In January, Russia had launched a program of modernizing the health system at a cost of 460 billion rubles, but a number of provinces have grieved that funds have not trickled down to them.

It's the latest photo opportunity stunt by the 59-year-old leader, who in recent years has been photographed riding topless on horseback in the Russian wilderness, tranquilizing a Siberian tiger and driving in a F1 race car.

 
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