It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s… Vladimir Putin

The Russian President used a motorized hang-glider to lead a flock of endangered birds to safety.

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REUTERS / Alexsey Druginyn / RIA Novosti / Kremlin

Russian President Vladimir Putin walks after a flight in a deltaplane, Sept. 5, 2012

For Russian President Vladimir Putin, leading a country is not enough. On Wednesday, in an operation dubbed “The Flight of Hope,” Putin led six young birds on their maiden migratory flight from the Siberian cold to their warmer, winter habitat.

The Siberian cranes were raised in captivity and were reportedly unable to find their way south without help. The presidential hang-glider took the place of a lead bird, guiding them on the first part of their journey.

This wasn’t Putin’s first oddball publicity stunt. The keen judoka, who is approaching his sixtieth birthday, has been photographed shooting a tiger and once fired a crossbow at a grey whale. In April 2010, he hugged a polar bear and piloted a water bomber above wildfires in central Russia.

Last year, the Russian leader scuba-dived to the submerged ancient Greek city of Phanagoria and joined a band of Harley Davidson bikers, the Night Wolves, on a drive through Novorossiysk.

PHOTOSVladimir Putin. Action Figure

6 comments
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JDinHouston
JDinHouston

It's a bird! It's a plane! No, wait, I see it now... It's Rutin Tutin Putin, the Sovietski Birdi. 

Catherine Shiver
Catherine Shiver

He doesn't always drink beer, but when he does, it's Dos Equis...

TeXan1111
TeXan1111

Hey,   I like the guy..  He is cool..    Maybe he should be president of Europe!     

Sachi Mohanty
Sachi Mohanty

   

Where do the Siberian cranes migrate to?

I think to India, right?

Twitter: @sachi_bbsr:twitter 

   

   

Eric
Eric

they are shot down in India...sadly enough.makes his work #useless

LoudRambler
LoudRambler

 The irony here is that two of the cranes were killed in process: one died during botched transportation, and another one got hit by the propeller of the powered glider, on which someone decided not to put a safety net (as evident from the photos).

 The total size of the population of the cranes to which they were to be re-introduced in the wild is 20 birds.

 To be fair, it wasn't Putin's personal fault, but his actions encourage such show-off blunders, because showing off is arguably the most effective way of lobbying thing in Russia; thus, as in previous wildlife blunder, the biologists transported to wild nature and drugged a zoo tiger, pretended that it was caught, waited for Putin to come and put on the tracking device on him - but because Putin is notorious for being late, the tiger died later from stress and overdose, so the device was re-put on another "Presidential" wild tiger and everyone pretended that nothing happened.

Why? Because they thought that doing this would allow them to persuade Putin to allocate more money for Amur tiger conservation, and because it is the sole way to get Putin's attention on things - because he's too busy showing off.