From the likes of Nicolas Sarkozy and Silvio Berlusconi you might get the impression that admiring beautiful women is something of a prerequisite for a European head of state. But there’s at least one leader who remains unfazed when faced with incontestable beauty. Take Vladimir Putin who was interviewed by international supermodel-cum-hardhitting political journalist Naomi Campbell recently.

In a feature for British GQ, Russia’s Prime Minister discusses many important world issues including his preference for the butterfly stroke, love of tigers, bare-knuckle fighting, Moscow State University students producing an erotic calendar for him, and, erm, attending a bikers festival in Ukraine:

Campbell: In the summer you were photographed on a Harley-Davidson at a bikers festival in Ukraine. How were you received by the bikers, the Night Wolves?
Putin: Well, these are really cool guys, really tough guys. One of them was a really courageous person who travelled a few thousand kilometers on a two-wheeler bike. He’s a handicapped guy with only one leg — he lost it somewhere in Yugoslavia during the war. I’m not the tough guy, those guys are.

Chechnya, it seems, was off the agenda…

Andrew Fenwick

Andrew Fenwick is multimedia editor at Transitions Online. Email: andrew.fenwick@tol.org

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