NEWS

Vladimir Putin Kisses Giant Fish, Russians Skeptical

07/29/2013 03:25 EDT

Russian President Vladimir Putin has been photographed doing all sorts of manly things — shooting a tiger with a tranquilizer, horseback riding shirtless, and flying alongside migrating storks, to name a few. The most recent set of photos released by the Kremlin on Friday show Putin with Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on a fishing vacation, lounging shirtless, standing on the back of a yacht and posing with deer.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on his holidays

But many Russians seemed to be skeptical of a photo that showed Putin kissing a 21-kilogram pike that he had purportedly caught while fishing.

'Wonder who planted that fish for Putin to catch', read a caption underneath an online picture of Putin and his fish, Reuters reported.

A prominent Russian blogger, Alfred Koch, calculated the size of the pike and stated that it could have only weighed a maximum of 10 or 11 kilograms, according to AFP.

The Kremlin has admitted in the past to staging one of Putin's accomplishments: his apparent discovery of ancient Greek artifacts at the bottom of the ocean in 2011.

The president also admitted that many of his wildlife stunts were staged to raise awareness of conservation efforts.

But the Kremlin wouldn't budge on the size of the pike.

"I personally saw the scales and was present in the weighing. It was seriously more than 20 kg (44 lb)," Putin's press secretary, Dmitry Peskov, told Interfax news agency.

After all the hubbub surrounding the president's big catch, will the Russian government admit that his latest photo-op doesn't hold any water?

Twitter users were amused and skeptical.

Putin Kisses Giant Fish, World Is Skeptical

What do you think?