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Bare-chested Putin plunges into icy lake

Russian President Vladimir Putin takes a dip in the water during Orthodox Epiphany celebrations at lake Seliger, Tver region, Russia
Image: Vladimir Putin swam to mark the feast of Epiphany

A half-naked Vladimir Putin has carried out another of his macho photo ops – this time plunging into an icy lake as park of a ritual to mark Orthodox Epiphany.

The 65-year-old Russian President stripped to the waist and bared his chest before crossing himself and lowering himself into a hole in the ice over Lake Seliger.

Russian President Vladimir Putin walks to take a dip in the water during Orthodox Epiphany celebrations at lake Seliger, Tver region, Russia
Image: He dressed in boots and a jacket before the swim

Mr Putin, wearing just trunks, became completely immersed in the water, having removed a sheepskin coat and felt boots for the freezing swim.

Temperatures hovered around -5C (23F).

Vladimir Putin

The practice is part of the Christian Orthodox feast of Epiphany, when believers submerge themselves in water to mark the baptism of Jesus Christ.

Mr Putin requires little excuse to strip, however.

Putin fishes in the remote Tuva region
Image: He has appeared bare chested in the water before

In 2009 he was famously pictured shirtless atop a horse during a mountain holiday, and last August the scantily-clad President paraded both his torso and fish he had caught in a Siberian lake.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is pictured with a horse during his vacation outside the town of Kyzyl in Southern Siberia on August 3, 2009. AFP PHOTO / RIA-NOVOSTI / ALEXEY DRUZHININ (Photo credit should read ALEXEY DRUZHININ/AFP/Getty Images)
Image: Mr Putin is pictured with a horse during a holiday in August 2009

The President, who frequently attends Russian Orthodox ceremonies, is preparing to run in the country’s March presidential election.

He is not shy when it comes to promoting himself as an action hero. From martial arts black belt, and diver, to para-glider.

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Vladimir Putin pilots a motorised hang glider
Image: Vladimir Putin pilots a motorised hang glider

Since, he has admitted that at least some of the ultra-masculine photo opportunities were staged – also saying they were for the purpose of raising awareness of environmental issues.

Putin (L) is seen through the glass of C-Explorer 5 submersible after a dive to see the remains of the naval frigate "Oleg" in 2013
Image: Putin in a C-Explorer 5 submersible after a dive to see the remains of the naval frigate

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