Behold, Vladimir Putin’s latest outdoor fantasy camp photo-op, in which the Russian strongman catches—and subsequently kisses—a rather massive pike during a fishing trip with Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu. Here’s the Los Angeles Times with the translated play-by-play:
In the video, Putin, dressed (of course) in a camouflage jacket and hat, lands (with the help of a military-clad assistant), a pike of prodigious size. His struggle with the pike lasted about three minutes, the Vesti television news program said. As Putin tries to raise the pike on camera, the aide says: “Vladimir Vladimirovich, be careful, she can bite.”
“I will bite her myself,” says Putin, who then raises the pike, kisses it on the head and dumps it in a plastic container. “She is a beauty.”
Of course, this being Putin we’re talking about, the myth-making didn’t stop there. Shoigu estimated that Putin’s catch weighed between 26 and 33 pounds. The Kremlin, meanwhile, pegged the fish at more than 46 pounds. Regardless, Russian bloggers (to say nothing of your average fisher) aren’t buying either of those estimates for some odd reason.