The Outside Blog

Adventure

Vladimir Putin Flies With Endangered Siberian Cranes

Once again, Russian President Vladimir Putin has thrown himself into an obscure outdoor adventure. This time he donned a white suit and goggles before taking off in an ultralight to guide six endangered Siberian Cranes through the air. Andrew E. Kramer's great article for The New York Times explains how the Russian leader's guiding flight fits fairly well into his awkward series of outdoor feats, which include riding a horse shirtless in Siberia and diving underwater to find two ancient Greek urns in the Black Sea (yes, it was staged). The Russian operation migration short hit YouTube on Wednesday.

It was not the only video of Putin released that day that may have led to guffaws. In a major television interview, Putin told RT TV, “I know what’s going on with Pussy Riot, but I am staying out of that.”

Pussy Riot is a three-woman band that performed a punk-prayer called “Our Lady, Chase Putin Out” in Moscow Christ the Savior Cathedral in February. They used footage of the event in an online music video, and later went to trial for hooliganism motivated by religious hatred. When asked about how the women should be punished, Putin said their sentences should not be too harsh. (It was a statement that came off with less tenderness than the bird video, which isn't saying much.) Last month, the members of Pussy Riot were sentenced to two years in prison. The prosecution was looking for three, which may make the Russian president sound thoughtful, but many bloggers and activists have pointed a finger at Putin's regime for influencing the case in the first place.

Whether Putin believed the bird escapade was a way to enhance his image as a leader or to soften people's perception of him is unclear, but The New York Times pointed out that one critic has used the video to knock the president on Twitter. Opposition activist Aleksei Navalny made a brief reference to powerful propaganda for Stalin, a story in which children were told that his light in the Kremlin was always burning because he was always thinking about them, before pointing out the absurdity of Putin's stunt.

“About Stalin they said, ‘In the night a light will burn in the window.’ And of Putin they will say, ‘He flew over our homes with a flock of cranes.’”

H/T: Jeff DelViscio

—Joe Spring
@joespring
facebook.com/joespring.1



Subscribe
to Outside
Save Over
70%

Magazine Cover

iPad Outside+ App Access Now Included!

Categories

GUIDES

Find the Best

Previous Posts

2014

2013

2012

Blog Roll

Recent Comments

  1. John Morris commented on

    The Top Five Tips on...

    Thank you very good and a healthy...

  2. CJ commented on

    The Top Five Tips on...

    This is great information, although I...

  3. Pedro commented on

    Hydrate or Cry: Make...

    Is this a 6% drink like Gatorade? How...

Current Issue Outside Magazine

Subscribe and get a great deal! Two free Buyer's Guides plus a free GoLite Sport Bottle. Monthly delivery of Outside—your ultimate resource for today's active lifestyle. All that and big savings!

Free Newsletters

Dispatch This week's featured articles, reviews, and videos. Sent twice weekly.
News From the Field The most important breaking news from around the Web. Sent daily.
Gear of the Day The latest products, reviews, and editors' picks. Coming soon.
Outside Partners Outside-approved deals and special offers from select partners. Sent occasionally.

Ask a Question

Our gear experts await your outdoor-gear-related questions. Go ahead, ask them anything.

* We might edit your question for length or clarity. If it's not about gear, we'll just ignore it.