MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian President Vladimir Putin spent several days hiking and fishing in Siberia in early September, the Kremlin said on Sunday as it published pictures of the president on the holiday.
A caption under one of the 20 pictures published on the Kremlin web site said the president stopped for a few days in Siberia after a working trip to Russia’s Far East in early September.
Several days later, in the middle of September Putin said he would have to spend “a few days” in self-isolation after dozens of people in his entourage fell ill with COVID-19. He had to cancel his trip to Tajikistan for a security summit.
Putin has cultivated a macho image, appealing to many Russians, and has previously been pictured riding a horse barechested and in sun glasses, as well as carrying a hunting rifle and piloting a fighter jet.
This time, his outings were more mundane.
The Kremlin published photos of Putin standing in a river and catching a fish, walking through lush meadows and talking to Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, his usual holiday companion.
Putin, 68, has had two shots of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine. The Kremlin has said he was feeling healthy. (This story corrects headline and throughout to show trip to Siberia was in early September, not recently)
(Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)