Bare-chested Putin takes dip in icy lake for Epiphany

Posted January 20, 2018

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.

Putin took the plunge in an ice-hole in Lake Seliger north of Moscow to commemorate the baptism of Christ in the Jordan River over two millennia ago.

He then removed his attire, as is traditional for the Epiphany bathing, and took the dip in the water that had been blessed by the Russian clergy. The reported outside temperature was -6C.

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This is not the first time Putin has taken part in the Epiphany ceremony, although it is the first publicly viewed occurrence, Peskov said.

Putin then crossed himself and briefly submerged his entire body under the water to commemorate the baptism of Jesus Christ, as the Russian Orthodox Church does each year on January 19.

In some areas of Russian Federation, such as the Siberian city of Norilsk, experiencing extreme temperatures as low as -68C, authorities banned the plunges "to avoid frostbite and emergency situations".

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Putin was photographed with his shirt off while on a spearfishing vacation in the southern mountain lake in Siberia.

He has gone topless to ride a horse, to hunt with a rifle and to pull a pike from a Siberian lake.

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