And he had the best time ever… [Pecs]

Post image for And he had the best time ever… [Pecs]

by Nathan Hamm on 8/5/2009 · 19 comments

Vladimir Putin decided to make a foray into the distant wilderness of Tuva with naught but a few male companions (and a reporting crew…) to engage in manly endeavors such as building fires, boating, fishing, swimming, and shirtless horseback riding. Foreign Policy has the photos and Times Online has the video and story.

As much as all this masculine display stuff plays well domestically, it does look a bit odd in the distant abroad. A bunch of people are talking about it. And even worse… I think it might kind of cut both ways. For some reason, I couldn’t help but picture Putin making a visit to Planet Unicorn.

And he had the best time ever!

And he had the best time ever!

Also… This? The foreigners, they might get confused about what’s going on.

Subscribe to receive updates from Registan

This post was written by...

– author of 2991 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

Nathan is the founder and Principal Analyst for Registan, which he launched in 2003. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uzbekistan 2000-2001 and received his MA in Central Asian Studies from the University of Washington in 2007. Since 2007, he has worked full-time as an analyst, consulting with private and government clients on Central Asian affairs, specializing in how socio-cultural and political factors shape risks and opportunities and how organizations can adjust their strategic and operational plans to account for these variables. More information on Registan's services can be found here, and Nathan can be contacted via Twitter or email.

For information on reproducing this article, see our Terms of Use


Ivan Denisovich August 5, 2009 at 11:23 pm

Oh God, that was so funny, so funny I forgot to laugh.

I’d trade Putin for the simpering little queer at 1600 any day of the week.

AS August 6, 2009 at 12:08 am

Me too, but somehow I think we’re not on the same page. Slava USA

Dafydd August 6, 2009 at 5:08 am

I am kind of wondering if Putin is going to end up being cool, in a kitsch sort of way.

I am not an expert on this sort of thing, but it seems he has everything needed to become a massive gay icon.

Tony August 6, 2009 at 6:12 am

My first out-loud laugh of the day (esp. the paratroopers) – thanks for sharing this!

Nathan August 6, 2009 at 6:43 am

Ivan, you have all the charm, grace, and half-wood for light fascism that I would expect someone who discusses playing WWII boardgames on the internet to have.

Ivan Denisovich August 6, 2009 at 9:18 am

This is Obama’s war, and he’s losing it big-time.

Wrap that around your neo-con brain.

Nathan August 6, 2009 at 9:53 am

Okay, that has nothing to do with anything nor does it make any sense.

The nice thing about being a private property owner is not having to explain yourself to the trolls who wander onto the lawn. Back to the gulag, please, Vanya.

KZBlog August 6, 2009 at 7:02 am

Thanks for the paratrooper link. I wondered what was going on with the paratroopers in the park in Astana. There were only a few of them but it was clearly a party of some kind.

PenGun August 6, 2009 at 12:40 pm

He’s in pretty good shape. I’m 63 and probably a bit more buff than him. It’s not especially easy when you are getting old and those weights don’t lift themselves.

Good for him. You would probably not make the unicorn joke to his face … just guessing.

Nathan August 6, 2009 at 1:11 pm

No question that he’s in good shape. Good for him. There’s nothing to mock about that at all.

It’s when a political leader drags photographers out to the wilds to do a Tiger Beat spread that there’s an opening for mockery. And that it’s from the guy who calls the shots in a country that has made it a matter of public policy to enforce correct displays of masculinity and virility in public makes this very open to mockery.

PenGun August 6, 2009 at 5:07 pm

“that has made it a matter of public policy to enforce correct displays of masculinity and virility in public”

I’m lost. What does this mean?

Nathan Hamm August 7, 2009 at 6:52 am

I’m referring to things like this. When right, good, and manly is your prime minister striking a pose in his wishing tree or paratroopers wearing short shorts are doing full, drunken, wet-body embraces and then, as a matter of public policy and an expression of social values, the guys who come out and admit they actually are really into other dudes get beat up and arrested… Well, yes, mockery.

PenGun August 7, 2009 at 2:29 pm

This makes little sense. The gay movement in Russia is not treated well and apart from that it’s just self reference.

You have a problem gay people? You do seem fascinated with;

“paratroopers wearing short shorts are doing full, drunken, wet-body embraces”

Not actually an argument. More a display of prejudice.

Nathan Hamm August 7, 2009 at 4:08 pm

PenGun, use your words! “Pen” is right there in your name! Be clearer. Who is displaying prejudice? You? Me? Gay people?

Politics is theatrical in Russia. Homophobia is rampant in Russia. A bit of political theater and paratroopers’ day looked to be sashaying back and forth across the line between masculine strength and homoeroticism. Add that sometimes I can’t help but being a jerk and poking fun. (Oddly enough, I’m not the only one with the unicorn idea.)

Joshua Foust August 7, 2009 at 6:09 pm

Putin = Feathers.
Medvedev = Cadillac
Who’s Tom Cruise???

Joshua Foust August 6, 2009 at 5:08 pm

Oh yeah, also: unicorns.

Transitionland August 6, 2009 at 10:05 pm


Mark Hamm August 10, 2009 at 10:19 pm

Putin is a poser in the truest since. Maybe he could beat up Obama, but who gives a rats ass. Only some pathetic jerk who feels posturing is more important than substance. If I was on a sinking boat I would want somebody like Obama in charge, not some self-absorbed wiener telling me our boat won’t be sinking cuz its the most bad-assed boat around.

Previous post:

Next post: