A thin-skinned Vladimir Putin has hit back at the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and other Western leaders who mocked his tough-man topless exploits, with the Russian leader claiming they would look “disgusting” if they tried to copy him.
Earlier this week, Mr Johnson jested that G7 leaders could take their clothes off to “show that we’re tougher than Putin” amid Russia-West tensions over Moscow’s military action in Ukraine.
He added that we need to “show our pecs”.
Canadian premier Justin Trudeau also teased the Russian president by claiming that Western leaders could try to match Putin’s naked torso pictures with a “bare-chested horseback riding display,” one of his widely publicised athletic adventures.
The joke seems to have been lost on the Russian leader though. He was asked about the comment during a visit to Turkmenistan and accused Western leaders of drinking too much.
Speaking to reporters, Putin said that, unlike him, Western leaders abuse alcohol and don’t do enough sporting activities.
“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.”
He noted that to look good “it’s necessary to stop abusing alcohol and other bad habits, do physical exercise and take part in sports.”
Mr Putin has been pictured shirtless while riding a horse and also on hunting and fishing trips among other things.
He is also regularly shown playing ice hockey and only this week it was revealed that during negotiations over the Ukraine war with the French leader Emmanuel Macron, it was was claimed that Mr Putin said he would rather be playing ice hockey.
The Russian president has previously stated that he saw “no need to hide behind the bushes”.
In 2017, Justin Trudeau was ranked the world’s hottest leader. Boris Johnson is regularly pictured jogging but keeps his clothes on.
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