In the past, Russian President Vladimir Putin presented himself on a horse’s back bare chest, but on Friday he admitted he had fallen on one occasion.
For years, Putin, 68, who has ruled Russia for more than 20 years as president or prime minister, has made himself an image of a strong person through a series of photos.
In one of the pictures, Putin appeared diving in subzero waters, and in a second he was riding a horse bare-chested, in a third he defeated competitors in judo, in a fourth he released a tiger into the forest and in a fifth swimming in a river.
“One time they took pictures of me, and I was in training, and it happened that the horse suddenly stopped in front of a checkpoint and it capsized, literally it capsized,” Tass news agency reported yesterday.
He did not say when this happened but stated that he had fallen “completely comfortably” and that he had asked the photographer to keep the shot. “It was the first time that I heard this answer from him: I will erase it immediately,” Putin said. The Kremlin rarely talks about Putin’s health or accidents.
There were allegations of back pain in 2012, at which time Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said it had happened to him as a result of judo.
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