There are few things as appealing to Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin as large animals and outdoor adventures pertaining to large animals. But Putin will allow himself a third personal interest: hanging out with other rugged men who also enjoy large animals and outdoor adventures pertaining to large animals. The Russian strongman has praised American actor Leonardo DiCaprio, who visited with Putin during a "tiger summit" in Saint Petersburg to address the fate of big cats everywhere.
The Christian Science Monitor's Fred Weir reports, "Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin – who knows a thing or two about looking macho – awarded DiCaprio the highest accolade a Russian guy can offer: he called him a nastoyachshi muzhik, which is a particularly rustic way of saying 'a real man.'"
Putin was apparently impressed by DiCaprio's combination of loving tigers and of surviving great danger in pursuit of that love. While en route to Russia, two of DiCaprio's flights had to make emergency landings under dramatic circumstances: extreme winds in one case and a flaming engine in the other.
Free advice to Russian President Dmitri Medvedev: If DiCaprio starts chasing whales with a crossbow, watch out, because your job could be in jeopardy.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.