The Botox-loving Vladimir Putin defending his dismal Ukraine war (he has declared victory in a Ukraine province), but he’s also growing wildly defensive about his shirtless horseback jaunts. What a strange combo, so let’s back up a bit.
Before his imperialistic lust took over, Putin was also infamous (worldwide) for the above shirtless photo shoot from 2009. He’s also known to take “macho” photos of his martial arts exploits, but he’s apparently feeling the pain of a rock-bottom approval rate (his lowest in 20 years). The global pariah also became the subject of chiding at the recent G7 summit, where British PM Boris Johnson declared that Putin’s war on Ukraine is the “perfect example of toxic masculinity” while trashing his “crazy, macho war of invasion and violence.” Johnson added that maybe everyone should take off their shirts to “show that we’re tougher than Putin.” And Canadian PM Justin Trudeau suggested that Western leaders should band together for a “bare-chested horseback riding display,” too.
This was a pointed callback to the 2009 photos, and that’s exactly how Putin read it. He’s now furious and lashing out, via the NY Post:
“I don’t know how they wanted to get undressed, above or below the waist,” he said. “But I think it would be a disgusting sight in any case.”
The 69-year-old president added, “Everything in a person should be harmonious: both body and soul, but for that to happen it’s necessary to stop abusing alcohol and other bad habits, do physical exercise and take part in sports.”
Well, at least he’s got this U.S. lawmaker on his side? Oh nevermind. Putin’s running short on allies, and there’s word of a secret successor in the works while he’s reportedly at risk for a “hammer to the head” from someone in his inner circle, all while he can’t even get a little respect for those shirtless photos. It’s rough out there for an autocrat.
(Via CBS News)