(MOSCOW) — Vladimir Putin had another choice photo opportunity recently, and this time he’s showing his playful side.
In a series of photos taken on March 24 but released on Wednesday, the Russian president is seen frolicking in a snowy field with his beloved dogs, Buffy and Yume. The shots were snapped by Putin’s personal photographer at his residence, Novo-Ogariovo, outside Moscow.
The dogs were gifts from Bulgaria and Japan. Putin’s beloved black lab didn’t participate, according to a Kremlin spokesman, because of her advanced age. Both pups are relatively new to the public eye.
The Japanese Akita Inu pup is named Yume, and was a gift from Japan’s Akita prefectural administration. The Karakachan (Bulgarian Shepherd) named Buffy was a gift from former Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov.
The release of the photos this week was perhaps an effort to change the subject, as Putin has been embroiled in a number of controversies of late. The 60-year-old was attacked by topless feminist protestors during a visit to Germany a few days ago, and Russia’s non-governmental organizations Thursday demanded he prove they received nearly $1 billion from foreign sponsors.
Alexey Navalny, one of Russia’s most prominent opposition leaders, also made claims this week that Putin has “undoubtedly” ordered an embezzlement trial against him.
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