NPR : News

Filed Under:

Putin's Latest Feat Of Derring-Do? Bagging A Really Big Fish

Russian President Vladimir Putin hasn't been shy about showing off his macho — and often shirtless — side.

There was that picture with the gun ...

the one with the tiger cub ...

the one in which he discovered an archaeological treasure ...

and of him riding a horse.

Now there's a story about Putin going fishing — and apparently catching a really big fish.

As the Los Angeles Times reports, claims about how big the pike the Russian president caught last weekend in Siberia ranged from 33 pounds to 46.3 pounds. The Russian blogosphere wasn't impressed.

"The Kremlin must have weighed the pike the way they count the votes," one observer wrote, according to the L.A. Times.

But these photographs, and criticism from his opponents and human rights groups aside, the Russian leader is still extremely popular — especially for the way he took on his country's oligarchs, who during the Yeltsin years became a law unto themselves.

As Christopher Read, a professor of 20th century European history at the University of Warwick, noted in a recent piece in The Atlantic:

"Putin's style has certainly been authoritarian, but to see oligarchs as human rights victims is to stretch the definition.

"Other elements of his popularity have been a more assertive international stance in which Russia shows independence in the face of American and western opposition — currently manifesting in the crisis in Syria, one of Russia's oldest allies — and a relatively successful economic policy which saw a period of growth, falling unemployment and rise in real wages, sometimes achieved by increasing state intervention in the economy, including the re-nationalization of factories and industries."

What is your favorite Putin moment? Let us know in the comments below.

(h/t Bill Chappell)

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit


From Trembling Teacher To Seasoned Mentor: How Tim Gunn Made It Work

Gunn, the mentor to young designers on Project Runway, has been a teacher and educator for decades. But he spent his childhood "absolutely hating, hating, hating, hating school," he says.

How Do We Get To Love At 'First Bite'?

It's the season of food, and British food writer Bee Wilson has a book on how our food tastes are formed. NPR's Scott Simon speaks with her about her new book, "First Bite: How We Learn to Eat."

Osceola At The 50-Yard Line

The Seminole Tribe of Florida works with Florida State University to ensure it that its football team accurately presents Seminole traditions and imagery.

Payoffs For Prediction: Could Markets Help Identify Terrorism Risk?

In a terror prediction market, people would be real money on the likelihood of attacks. NPR's Scott Simon speaks with Stephen Carter about whether such a market could predict — and deter — attacks.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.