Prime Minister Vladimir Putin sat in the copilot’s seat of a Beriev Be-200 air tanker on Tuesday and pushed the button to drop water on two vegetation fires in Russia.
After pushing the button, he looked at the pilot and said, “Was that OK?”
The pilot said: “A direct hit!” (what else could he have said?)
Putin rode in the air tanker in an effort to demonstrate to the Russian people, suffering from numerous devasting fires and record-setting heat, that he is in charge and personally doing everything he can to put out the fires.
The Prime Minister is known for grabbing every possible opportunity to star in publicity stunts. In the past he has copiloted a fighter jet, ridden a horse bare-chested in Siberia and descended to the bottom of Lake Baikal in a mini-sub. In July he drove a Harley Davidson motorcycle to a biker rally.
The narration for this video is in Russian, but the pictures tell the story.