The day that Putin the hawk pretended to be a white crane


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The Independent Online

Vladimir Putin dressed in white to fly a microlight aircraft to lead a flock of young Siberian white cranes in flight.

Mr Putin, whose costume was meant to imitate an adult crane, was taking part in a project to teach the endangered birds, raised in captivity, to follow the aircraft on their southern migration to Central Asia.

It follows stunts, from flying a fighter jet to riding a horse bare-chested, that have made the action-man Russian leader both notorious and beloved.