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'Action man' Putin tags whale, dives deep

Last updated on: August 03, 2009 

'Action man' Putin tags whale, dives deep

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'Action man' Vladimir Putin, the Russian prime minister, clipped a satellite transmitter to a beluga whale during a visit to the country's Far East region.

Ahead of his daredevil feat, the Russian strongman discussed the white whales' behaviour, migration patterns and habitats with scientists and inquired whether Dasha 'could eat him'.

Image: Putin attaches a satellite tracking tag to a Beluga whale named Dasha
Photographs: Alexei Nikolsky/RIA Novosti/Kremlin/Reuters
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The prime minister, who visited Russia's Far East Khabarovsk region last week, attached the transmitter to Dasha. Mission accomplished, he clapped the whale on the sides and said: 'Don't be angry anymore'.

The whale was then released back into the sea, the RIA Novosti news agency reported.

Image: Putin strokes the Beluga whale during his visit to Chkalov island
Photographs: Alexei Nikolsky/RIA Novosti/Kremlin/Reuters
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Later, Putin dived to the bottom of Lake Baykal, well-known for a variety of endemic species, wearing special thermal blue overalls and examined the unique flora and fauna during his four-hour journey underwater aboard the Mir-1 submarine.

"I've never experienced anything like it in my life," said 56-year-old judo-crazy Putin, who prides himself on staying fit.

"It's a special feeling. What I saw impressed me because, with my own eyes, I could see how Baikal is in all its grandeur, in all its greatness,' he was quoted as saying by the RIA Novosti.


Image: Putin waves onboard the Mir-2 mini-submersible at Lake Baikal
Photographs: Alexei Druzhinin/RIA Novosti/Kremlin/Reuters
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