Vladimir Putin: The Most Interesting Prime Minister in the World

The Atlantic recently published a photo montage of Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin taking part in manly activities. It’s freaking awesome. Putin has definitely worked hard at developing a manly and virile persona. It’s very Theodore Roosevelt-esque. While Roosevelt was certainly a badass, like Putin, he understood the power of the media and would often create photo-ops for himself to show off his awesome manliness. But even though both men wanted people to know about their manly feats, they both actually did the things they’re shown doing–it wasn’t a bunch of talk.

Of course, in addition to doing manly things, TR had a very sterling reputation, while Putin is known for being a bad dude.

But among world leaders, the man’s got a virility that’s second to none. Below are a few of my favorite images from The Atlantic’s “Vladimir Putin, Action Man.” Make sure to visit the site to see all 34 photos.

Anything is possible when you use Old Spice bodywash. I'm on a horse.

Ha ha ha! I will crush you.

Front crawl stroke is for weakling. Putin only uses butterfly.

Here is piece I wrote inspired by Brothers Karamazov. You will cry.

You hold metal like little child.

Eat my dust capitalist pig.

The scent of Putin attract big animals. For this reason, I hunt with no shirt.

Putin. Vladimir Putin.

{ 49 comments… read them below or add one }

Paul September 13, 2011 at 8:06 pm

A former KGB operative from an era when the Soviets were obsessed with being the best at EVERYTHING. That’s why he knows karate, can hunt, ride horses bare back (although the wrong animal’s back is bare), and play concert piano.

I’m leery of Putin, I think he still thinks the Soviet Union, in all of it’s cracking, inefficient and blustery glory, is still alive and kicking.

In reality though, he’s a harmless egomaniac and those pictures are pretty funny.

Jon September 13, 2011 at 8:08 pm

Am I the only one that read all of these captions with a deep Russian accent?

Tony September 13, 2011 at 8:13 pm

I mentally added the Russian accent as well. Regardless of what you think of his politics and policies the guy is a stud. He’s probably in better physical condition than most men, in either country, half his age.

Karl September 13, 2011 at 8:17 pm

In Soviet Russia, president assassinate you.

Nate September 13, 2011 at 8:24 pm

Jon, Tony, I also read these captions with a deep Russian accent. It only makes these pictures that more epic!

Harry September 13, 2011 at 8:29 pm

Putin cannot sing or play the piano any better than a monkey can – look up the video. I rode a horse in fourth grade, although I must admit I had my shirt on and so I looked like less of an idiot. And, anyone who has been in the military knows the basics of martial arts, hunting, and swimming.

The man is ALL image and ZERO substance. On top of that, he is a twisted and manipulative leader who regularly sides with the most evil dictators on the planet. Why he is glamorized on a classy, intelligent site such as this….I’ll never know.

Eric September 13, 2011 at 8:33 pm

Harry, I think Brett’s gentle mockery and “points for trying” given to Putin here falls short of glamorization. Lighten up! Click through my name for a picture of his more sensitive side.

joshW September 13, 2011 at 8:50 pm

Just so we’re clear thats not some nancy Karate going on.Thats Russian Sambo.I took Karate and I got my ass handed to me by a Sambo practioner.

Harry September 13, 2011 at 8:55 pm

Don’t get me wrong, I laughed at the pictures and captions too. Good stuff!

Were it simple mockery, I would have no issue. However, he is portrayed here as someone who actually does all these things and does them well – when it is simply not the case.

Being all image and no substance is antithetical to the true meaning of a man.

Anthony September 13, 2011 at 8:59 pm

You dont have to like his policies and personal views to respect the man…fact is that even though Putin knows military fighting he has been doing Sambo and Judo since the six grade. Im not defending the man but dont degrade his achievement because chances are you havent done half the stuff that he has…

Peter September 13, 2011 at 9:00 pm

I’ll just take the liberty of pointing out he is VERY good at judo. Like, 6th dan awarded by the Kodokan good.

Rico September 13, 2011 at 9:01 pm


This article is a pretty good one, if anyone wants to see how much of a badass putin is.

Jason September 13, 2011 at 9:32 pm

While I agree he has a well deserved negative reputation, he is a bad ass, and I would not want to meet him in a dark alley.

Ben September 13, 2011 at 9:56 pm

I’m leery of Putin as well, Paul, but I don’t think all of those journalists or Alexander Litvinenko would agree with you about the part of him being harmless. He definitely doesn’t mind having people killed.

And though I despise the actions he’s taken, he is in fact a badass. One of those, “Worthy Adversary” kind of badasses.

Josh Knowles September 13, 2011 at 10:01 pm

In the blacksmith picture, are they forging a metal hammer and sickle?

Vance September 13, 2011 at 10:45 pm

When comparing the pictures of our current President with Prime Minister Putin the Russians make political vacations look so much more fun. I’m not saying riding a bike in high waters or playing golf is not exhilarating, I do both; but hunting shirtless, swimming in open water, and driving race cars is so much more badass. In a bare knuckle boxing match I know which political leader I would place my money on. Just saying.

Anders September 13, 2011 at 11:51 pm

Politicis aside..

He makes GWB look like a pussy even thoug he stands all flight suited up on a aircraft carrier :)

Putin image is something men should strive for.

Politics aside ofcourse

Pwag September 14, 2011 at 12:25 am

I was going to sell my Makarov before I saw all this. Now I’ll never let it get more than three feet away from me.

mike September 14, 2011 at 3:44 am

Everyone seems to be missing that he is a KGB agent working for powerful ogliarchs and crime syndicates, and controls the second largest arsenal of nuclear weapons in the world. If this guy sneezed on a bad day, within the hour we wouldn’t recognise the world because large parts of it would be vaporised.

Classic Bond Baddie stuff but this is real life.. He’s probably seen more totures than most of us have seen fights. By all means mock the PR spin epitomised by the above photos (yes, it’s BS), but don’t detract from his manly aspects (that exist for better or worse).

Dave Tindell September 14, 2011 at 6:39 am

I’ve trained extensively with Russian Spetsnaz vets in the martial art of Systema and can assure you that they are truly badass guys. The men I train with are also very friendly and patient, men of strong Christian faith, and are every bit as patriotic as American guys, if not more so. If push comes to shove between national leaders, who would you put your money on: a trained martial artist, or a fighter pilot, or a man who survived the worst the NVA could throw at him in prison—or would you pick the golfer/basketball player?

Ian September 14, 2011 at 9:36 am

Putin strikes me as a sociopath. He has shooter’s eyes and he’s power hungry. From a personal standpoint, the Russian mafia was doing plenty of car theft in Poland, which is why my relatives there recommended against ever renting a car. That was under Putin, so I’m not impressed with him as a leader, which is a much greater indicator of manliness than hobbies. Big deal, another Russian “strong-man.”

Rob September 14, 2011 at 10:25 am

Love him or hate him, you still have to respect him.

Hector September 14, 2011 at 12:51 pm

You’re as ex-KGB as you are an ex-German shepherd. Only the name of the secret polie changes, right now it is known as the FSB and something else…
I trust him as far as I can throw him, but he puts forth a rugged image.

Stephen September 14, 2011 at 1:20 pm

I’m not sure you really can put the Russian Prime Minister’s politics aside. It’s a very big part of being the Russian Prime Minister.

mike September 14, 2011 at 1:47 pm


Agreed.the only reason Putin isn’t KGB/FSB is because he is now ‘above’it. They work (loosley) for him.

Andy September 14, 2011 at 10:45 pm

I think I have a picture of Kim Jong-il bench pressing a zebra some where…

John September 15, 2011 at 10:46 am

I have heard about the wonderful things VP has done, but I have attributed them to a dictatoresque personality. Benito Mussolini, Adolf Hitler, Fidel Castro, Mao Tse Tung, Ivan the Terrible, and Joseph Stalin all had to be considered expert in everything. It was built into them. They couldn’t handle someone knowing more than them in anything, and propaganda machines would constantly show how wonderful they were, while quoting common folk talking up their incredible skill, intelligence, wit, and wisdom. More recent examples have included Muammar Gaddafi, Mahmud Ahmadinejad, Hugo Chavez, Vladamir Putin, Kim Jong Il, and, Barak Hussein Obama.

nat September 15, 2011 at 9:16 pm

Ding-ding-ding! We have a winner:

Karl September 13, 2011 at 8:17 pm
In Soviet Russia, president assassinate you.

Here’s your No-Prize. Dont’ spend it all in one place.

Rusty September 17, 2011 at 4:27 am

In Russia, road fork you!

Callum September 17, 2011 at 8:14 am

For the people commenting who think that Putin is a Soviet, he’s not – the opposition party to him in Russia is. Although it might seem counter to your views, he’s actually the one keeping the country away from the communists.

Cory B.A. Ok September 17, 2011 at 9:39 am

Pwag, why would you ever get rid of your Makarov?

Mystery Charlatan September 17, 2011 at 12:43 pm

Putin MAY be a badass, but if you were in ANY competition with Putin, would you even try to win? If you did win, you’d probably get shot.

Eddie in INDY September 17, 2011 at 8:17 pm


I do not believe for one second that GWB is a pussy. Even a high school Band Director can tell each of those pic of Vlad are staged…..The lighting is perfect in everyone and he has his shirt off way too much. He is playing piano wrong. His hands need to be higher.

@ Mystery Charlatan, …..YEP !!

Eddie in INDY

ecomamacita September 19, 2011 at 4:55 pm

Stellar captions, but Putin shirtless — not so attractive. And since when did men start hunting without shirts again? That trend has been out since…hmmm….the Vikings? I’m guessing that shot was meant to show Putin in harmony with the Nature scene, or maybe he was attracting pigs with his natural odor (like flies on shit!).

TREY August 13, 2012 at 2:24 pm

He may not be the nicest man on the planet, but he is one super hot man. Age aside, because this stud is more desirable than alot of guys half his age. I would love to wake up next to him after a HARD night in the sack.

yomamma987 December 17, 2012 at 6:27 pm


Luilui February 18, 2013 at 12:03 pm

He has a sociopath profile close to psyco

Love Child Snowden August 28, 2013 at 11:09 am

If man like Putin had fathered Obama, Obama would not bow down to bankers.

Walker December 15, 2013 at 10:02 am


I don’t think that you know- sociopaths and psychopaths both share little to no feelings for others or empathy, but a sociopath is socially awkward and just bed with people in general. Does that sound like the leader of a world power? Psycopath is more accurate, as those have a ‘facade of charm.’ Psychopaths are very charismatic and good at getting people to do what they want.

Roel Manumba January 6, 2014 at 12:03 pm

Vladimir Putin is Russia’s Walter Mitty. Mr. Putin is overdoing his media postings to make himself appear as virile and as an all-around person. In reality, he is just a sad, geriatric gay, who is panicking at the thought that he is now in the twilight of his years. Funny and sad.

Myra February 9, 2014 at 3:31 pm

I find all of you very jealous of Putin.
Id rather have him as a leader than anyone else.
A country who has him as president will have no problems.
Do you say all these negative things about him because you hate him?
You hate him because there is no truth in you. You are all saturated with lies.
You have one father, and his name is the devil.
May all the negative things you wished on him come onto you speedily.
First find out what is wrong with yourselves before judging someone else.
May a curse be on all who practises lies and deceit.

David Boyle March 23, 2014 at 5:59 pm

I am a skinny 78 year old American. I go by Dave the Kid Boyle. I challenge the Bad Ass Vlad the Putin to 15 rounds at Madison Square Garden, 4 oz. gloves, no three knock down rule. I will wear green trunks and he will wear red. That way his blood all over his trunks won’t make him vomit. Lets get it on, Vlad! I will donate my share of the purse to the people of Ukraine.

Dave Boyle

Zoey April 3, 2014 at 6:12 pm

He is so sexy

Zoey April 3, 2014 at 6:12 pm


Michael Johnson April 25, 2014 at 10:29 pm

Real man. Make both Obama and American allies his bitches.

Ryan July 18, 2014 at 12:31 pm

That butterfly stroke is pretty pathetic.

Ojaswa September 13, 2014 at 10:42 pm

This Man will bring back the Soviet Era Glamour back to Mother Russia

justme June 12, 2015 at 9:03 am

Do you *actually* see these juvenile, outlandish, ridiculous displays of an overt and desperate attempt to display his “manliness” as actual, manliness?

Any “man” who has to display himself like this in order to prove something, obviously is not comfortable enough with himself and man enough to know he doesn’t have to prove anything to anyone. Obviously he is not content in himself and much like those who are insecure, feel they must prove something, when those that are actually mature and sufficient truly, have nothing to prove to anyone, for they know them selves and know they are not judged by anyone.

In reality, all these pics prove is he is a sad, old, low testosterone “man” who cannot come to terms with his own older age and mortality. These pictures make him fodder for gays and butt lovers all over, which is the exact group he tries to distance himself from. These pics are freaking sad yet hilarious!! :D

Joanne Walsh February 13, 2016 at 9:08 pm


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