Now Putin, Medvedev Pump Iron, Grill, Sip Tea

These are healthy, virile world leaders, OK?
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 30, 2015 12:11 PM CDT
Now Putin, Medvedev Pump Iron, Grill, Sip Tea
Russian President Vladimir Putin exercises with Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, unseen, at the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Sunday, Aug. 30, 2015.   (AP Photo/RIA Novosti, Mikhail Klimentyev, Presidential Press Service)

Here to pump you up are Russia's very own Hans and Franz: Or rather, Vladimir and Dmitri (also known as President Putin and Prime Minister Medvedev, respectively), in their latest bizarre attempt to shore up their image as the most masculine and virile of world leaders. In a series of images released apparently intentionally by the Kremlin, the two are shown at Putin's summer residence in Sochi engaged in gazing at each other admiringly while working out, then, as Reuters puts it, " shown on television grilling meat and having tea, adding to the healthy and wholesome picture." The two have been active stuntmen lately; Reuters notes that though Putin's 72% approval rating is very healthy by American standards, it's been slumping recently. (Read more Vladimir Putin stories.)

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