Putin takes an icy plunge on Epiphany

20 January, 2018, 04:02 | Author: Chad Mckenzie
  • Putin celebrates Epiphany by bathing in ice cold waters

The practice is part of the Christian Orthodox feast of Epiphany, when believers submerge themselves in water to mark the baptism of Jesus Christ. "The temperature fell to minus 63 degrees but this did not scare off the believers", the eparchy said.

Vladimir Putin, 65, put on the display - perhaps aimed at sending a chill down the spine of fellow world leaders - as he braved the icy cold wintry waters on Lake Seliger in northwestern Russian Federation.

Russian state television showed Putin marching onto the ice of frozen Lake Seliger, about 400 km (250 miles) north of Moscow, dressed in a sheepskin coat and felt boots.

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He was then seen dunking himself in the icy water and crossing himself.

Water blessed by a priest during Epiphany week is considered holy and pure according to Orthodox Christian tradition.

Russian leader Vladimir Putin dipped into frigid waters early Friday at a lake in northwestern Russia to mark the Orthodox observance of the Epiphany, which commemorates the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River. Authorities set up bathing sites for believers all over Russian Federation, including some areas in Siberia where temperatures dipped below -22 F.

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The Kremlin's top critic Alexei Navalny has slammed Russia's March presidential election, in which he is barred from running, as a sham meant to "re-appoint" Vladimir Putin on his way to becoming "emperor for life", reported AFP.

Putin has had a track record of stripped down to the waist in public.

In August past year he was photographed with his shirt off catching fish in a mountain lake in Siberia and in August 2009, a bare-chested Putin was pictured riding a horse during a Siberian holiday.

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