Putin’s nature love

Wildlife>> Stunts • Russia

Published: Monday 30 November -0001

Vladimir Putin in a motorised deltaplaneRussian President Vladimir Putin’s widely publicised wildlife stunts, at least some of them, have been stage-managed. He made the admission at a meeting with Masha Gessen, the editor of a travel magazine, who refused to send a reporter to cover his latest exploit—taking to the skies in a motorised hang glider to lead a flock of young Siberian white cranes in flight.

During their meeting, Gessen told Putin: “You probably know that the tigress you tagged with a GPS collar had been brought from a zoo, and that the polar bear you also put a collar on had been captured beforehand and kept heavily tranquilised for several days.” Putin did not challenge her claims but insisted “his goal was to draw attention to a wildlife problem”.

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