While his soldiers were busy slaughtering civilians in Ukraine this week, Russia’s Vladimir Putin ruminated on what Western leaders would look like naked “above or below the waist.” He concluded it would be a “disgusting sight,” since they do not stick to the same rigorous physical regime that he does.
Commenting on reports of Western leaders cracking jokes about his macho, bare-chested photo-ops at the G7 summit, Putin gleefully dove into the topic during a press conference in Turkmenistan late Wednesday.
He told reporters that those same leaders who mocked him would look terribly undressed, regardless of whether they went shirtless or dropped their kit entirely.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau were among those to mock Putin during the G7 summit this week, with Western leaders suggesting they should emulate Putin’s “bare-chested horseback riding” or “show them our pecs” in a group photo to demonstrate toughness.
“I do not know how they wanted to get undressed, above or below the waist,” Putin said. “But I think it would be a disgusting sight in any case.”
In his hunkier days, Trudeau did strip down to a pair of skimpy shorts for a charity boxing fight, which he unexpectedly won against a political opponent and former Navy reservist in 2012.
Boris Johnson is no stranger to political stunts but he has wisely opted to remain fully dressed in public — above and below the waist.
According to a report in Private Eye this week, however, one lawmaker did get a glimpse below the waist when he walked in on Johnson while he was Foreign Secretary only to see him on the receiving end of some intimate attention from a mistress, who would later become his wife.
Putin’s displays of machismo have thankfully remained sub PG-13 — even if he is now apparently boasting about what lies below the belt.
Quoting poet Alexander Pushkin, he said a person should be “harmoniously developed” both in terms of their body and soul.
“In order for everything to be harmonious, it is necessary to stop abusing alcohol and other bad habits, do physical exercise and take part in sports,” he said, apparently suggesting the Western leaders’ quips about his body signaled their own desire to bulk up.
“If they want to, they will certainly achieve the necessary success,” he said, adding that they just need to “work on themselves.”
Johnson has also blamed Putin’s “toxic masculinity” for the war in Ukraine and railed against his “crazy, macho war of invasion and violence.”
Putin, commenting on his so-called “special military operation” during the late-night press conference, painted just as glowing a picture of his senseless war as he had moments earlier of his own physical regimen.
“Work is moving along calmly, rhythmically. As you see, the troops are moving forward and reaching the borders they are tasked with at this given stage of combat work. Everything is going according to plan. ”