G7 leaders mock Putin’s shirtless riding propaganda – National
G7 leaders gathered to discuss increasing pressure on Vladimir Putin over the war in Ukraine are also taking aim at the Russian president’s penchant for taking his shirt off.
The leaders were preparing for a group photo when British Prime Minister Boris Johnson asked them if they should take their jackets off.
A video from the event in Germany shows him jokingly: “We all have to show that we are tougher than Putin.
“We’re going to have the bare-chested riding show,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau replied.
“Oh yes”, said Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, “horse riding is the best”
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Any search for images of the Russian leader is bound to come up with the famous photo of him on horseback in the Siberian wilderness, wearing only trousers, boots and sunglasses.
The Kremlin has released a series of official photos over the years of Putin carrying a gun, feeding a horse, holding a fish, swimming, relaxing by a lake — all shirtless. There’s a video of him being pulled into the water by two dolphins.
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The photos were even included in his official calendar, in what many observers see as an attempt to sell the image of a macho and tough leader.
Putin seems oblivious to the countless memes that poke fun at him, once remarking on NBC that there are even (faked) images online of him riding a bear.
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For his part, Trudeau has had his share of shirtless photographs since becoming prime minister.
A 2016 Guardian article about him appearing shirtless and holding a surfboard at a couple’s beach wedding in British Columbia said: “Sightings of a shirtless Justin Trudeau are causing a stir in Canada and around the world. the world.” The article notes that the Prime Minister also made international headlines when a photo was published of him walking shirtless in Gatineau Park.
In July 2018, he made headlines again while jogging shirtless in Toronto after a meeting with Ontario Premier Doug Ford.
Video from Monday’s G7 event ends with a joke from Johnson: “We need to show them our pecs.”
The leaders remained fully dressed for the official photo shoot.
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