Russian state television broadcast footage of Putin, with the air temperature at minus 14 Celsius (6.8 Fahrenheit), removing a sheepskin coat to enter the icy waters
Russian President Vladimir Putin, dressed in nothing but a pair of blue swimming trunks, immersed himself in the freezing water of a cross-shaped pool near Moscow on Tuesday, observing an Orthodox Christian ritual to mark the feast of Epiphany.
Russian state television broadcast footage of Putin, with the air temperature at minus 14 Celsius (6.8 Fahrenheit), removing a sheepskin coat to enter the icy waters and submerging himself three times beneath the surface, in front of an ice-sculpted cross.
Putin, 68, grew up under Communist rule where open shows of religion were frowned upon. As president, he has become a frequent attender of Russian Orthodox ceremonies, and has given the church a major voice in society.
Each year on Epiphany, Orthodox believers immerse themselves in rivers and lakes to commemorate the baptism of Jesus Christ in the River Jordan.
Have you personally experienced a positive impact on your life from open water swimming or cold exposure? We want to hear from you! Share your story with us by emailing an audio or video testimonial to firstname.lastname@example.org. and get a chance to be featured on the ICEWIM Instagram account.
This article was first published to https://www.ndtv.com/offbeat/why-russian-president-vladimir-putin-took-a-dip-in-freezing-water-wearing-nothing-but-swimming-trunks-2355100