Vladimir Putin pilots hang glider to lead flock of endangered cranes, adds mastery of flight to resumé
President Vladimir Putin has piloted a motorized hang glider to lead a flock of young Siberian white cranes in flight.
Dressed in a white costume meant to imitate an adult crane, Putin took part in a project to teach the endangered birds who were raised in captivity to follow the aircraft on their migration to Central Asia.
RIA-Novosti news agency reported that only one crane followed Putin on his first flight, which he attributed to high winds that caused the hang glider to travel faster than usual. On the second flight, five birds followed Putin, but after a few circles only two had stuck with him for the full 15-minute flight.
Vladimir Putin’s presidential job perks include four yachts, 58 aircraft and 20 homes: report
Vladimir Putin once compared ruling Russia to being a “galley slave”, but four yachts that come with the job, as well as a string of palaces and a wealth of luxury perks help explain his refusal to quit the presidency, leading critics said on Tuesday.
Listing 58 planes and helicopters and 20 homes with opulent fittings worthy of the tsars, not to mention 11 watches which alone are worth several times Putin’s annual salary, a report published under the ironic title “The Life of a Galley Slave” by opposition leader Boris Nemtsov denounced the lavish spending as an affront to millions of Russians living in dire poverty.
“One of the most serious reasons prompting V. Putin to hold on to power is the atmosphere of wealth and luxury to which he has become accustomed,” wrote the authors. “In a country where more than 20 million people barely make ends meet, the luxurious life of the president is a blatant and cynical challenge to society. We absolutely cannot put up with this.”
Vladimir Putin shows off military hardware in Victory Day parade
Speaking to thousands of soldiers at the annual Red Square military parade, Russian President Vladimir Putin declared Wednesday that the country is a force for world security and that Russia will stand up for its positions.
Putin’s speech, two days after his inauguration for a third term in the Kremlin, came less than a week after the nation’s military chief of staff warned that Russia would consider pre-emptive strikes, if a dispute with the United States over a Europe-based missile defence system worsens. (Photos: AFP/Getty Images; AP)