Тем временем где-то на Камчатке.
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin fired darts from a crossbow at a gray whale off Russia’s Far Eastern coast on Wednesday in the latest in a series of man-versus-nature stunts designed to cultivate the image of a macho leader.
Putin, meanwhile, during his eight years as president and the past two as prime minister, has learned to use television to cultivate the image of a rugged leader beloved by the Russian people.
His mastery of the medium has been on full display in recent weeks as he has taken command of efforts to extinguish the wildfires that swept across much of western Russia and to help the thousands of people who lost their homes.
The message has been that it is Putin, rather than his junior co-leader President Dmitry Medvedev, who is equipped to look after Russia, its people and environment. Putin has been canny about his plans to run in the 2012 presidential election, but has excluded running against Medvedev, saying the two will come to an agreement. Whatever the decision, his action-man lifestyle shows he is not about to recede from public view.