“Pugnacious” takes on quite literal meaning when applied to Russia’s prime minister. With his new video, “Let’s Learn Judo with Vladimir Putin,” the ex-KGB operative shows off his wicked awesome martial arts skills.

In isolation this seems exhibitionistic enough, but The Economist says that this is

just the latest in a string of macho Putin stunts. Only a few weeks ago Russians learned from state-run media that Mr Putin had saved a news crew from a tiger that was stalking the group (he reportedly tranquilised the animal) during a trip he made with scientists to the Russian Far East. Funny, no film footage was available on that one. Earlier episodes included a well-photographed bare-chested fly-fishing expedition and a ride in a fighter jet.

Which is not to say that Putin doesn’t take care to publicize his softer side—when feeling kind and cuddly he can always snuggle up to his pet tiger cub .

Articles by Stefan McDaniel

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