By Matthew Barrett
Follow Matthew on Twitter
The Prime Minister of Russia, Vladimir Putin, launched his election campaign yesterday, after a general election was called for December. This was no ordinary election campaign launch, however. Putin, famous for his macho public image, decided to launch his election campaign riding into a bikers' rally on a Harley-Davidson:
Putin gave a speech, paying tribute to the contribution of Soviet motorcyclists in the Second World War, in front of a crowd of war veterans and bikers.
This isn't the first Putin macho stunt this summer. Earlier this month, Putin went diving in the Black Sea, where he miraculously discovered two urns on the seabed. CBC News describes the scene:
"He dove at a Greek Black Sea archaeology site, the cameras following him underwater, as he came across two urns on the seabed, in a perfect sightline with the camera in clear water. The premier grabbed both urns — apparently sixth-century Greek urns — with his bare hands and brought them to the surface. "Treasure!" Putin told assembled media after surfacing."
It's widely believed that Putin will run for the Russian Presidency again in the summer of 2012, with the incumbent Dmitry Medvedev often referred to as simply holding the role until Putin is eligible to run again (there is a term limit on the Presidency).