Please Sign In

Please enter a valid username and password
  • Log in with Facebook
» Not a member? Take a moment to register
» Forgot Username or Password

One-on-One With Vladimir Putin

In a rare and exclusive interview, Russia's Prime Minister speaks out on fishing, hunting and why he loves the outdoors.

Perhaps no other political 
figure since American President Theodore Roosevelt has been more visible in experiencing the outdoors than Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. His time in the field has been witnessed, admired and, yes, even criticized the world over, thanks to a wealth of media exposure. His adventures, ranging from fishing to horseback riding to “hunting” animals with a tranquilizer rifle for scientific research, are lead stories in many news markets.

For the first time ever, Prime Minister Putin talks about his deeply held love for the outdoors in an exclusive interview with Outdoor Life.

Outdoor Life: A great deal of your popularity, both in Russia and in the United States, stems from your involvement in and enjoyment of the outdoors. At what point in your life did you first become interested in the outdoors? And how has your affection and appreciation for the outdoors grown since then?

Vladimir Putin: I know there are a lot of enthusiasts in the United States who share my love for the outdoors, but I hope it’s not the only thing that attracts their attention. What is important for me is how people evaluate my work and whether Russia’s international policy is clear and understandable to them.

With respect to your question, I would say that my fondness for the outdoors, like that of many other people, has its roots in my youth and, particularly, in the books I’ve read. I have always loved and avidly read the novels of Jack London, Jules Verne and Ernest Hemingway. The characters depicted in their books, who are brave and resourceful people embarking on exciting adventures, definitely shaped my inner self and nourished my love for the outdoors.

Besides, youth summer camps have long been popular both in Russia and in the United States. Young folk who go there simply cannot stay away from their community’s life, which abounds with numerous sports events, outdoor games and competitions. In fact, if a person has been happy enough to meet a good tutor during his early years, he or she will keep a lifelong habit of spending his or her time in an effective and useful manner.

In this respect, I was lucky enough. I had an interesting childhood strongly connected with sports. I also had very good teachers. Probably thanks to this fact, I have not changed my attitude toward outdoor activities. Maybe it has become even more profound and deliberate. I increasingly appreciate what I have achieved because of sports. In other words, a habit for a healthy lifestyle and an opportunity to be outdoors.

I would also like to add that recently my passion for adventures, journeys and outdoor activities has got a new dimension. In 2009, our oldest non-governmental organization, the Russian Geographical Society (RGS), suggested that I should head its Tutorial Council, and, of course, I agreed.

I might now start describing the RGS’s longstanding and really legendary history, its great contribution to developing new lands, including the Arctic, the Far North, Siberia and the Far East, as well as to studying ethnography, geography and a range of other scientific disciplines, and developing Russia’s environmental activities and statistics. However, it would take this Outdoor Life issue and a few ones to follow. Moreover, you may find everything connected with the RGS on its website (rgo.ru). I will only define its key objectives.

The majority of them are geared to raising public interest in accurately exploring national geography and our historical and cultural heritage, involving our citizens in environmental activities and stimulating scientific work.

The very mission of the RGS reaches out to my heart, namely to inspire people to love Russia. This phrase contains a desire to open up Russia’s beauty, diversity and identity to our society and to the whole world, to present its authentic image. And I am happy to get an opportunity to take a personal part in the RGS’s work and help to realize its outstanding and substantive projects.

Page 1 of 512345next ›last »

Comments (13)

Top Rated
All Comments
from Danila Volodarskey wrote 29 weeks 4 days ago

First, I can't get the problem with taking interviews with whoever. You don't want to read it? Don't.

Second, Russian citizens are allowed to own firearms - or rather, longarms. A smoothbore after getting a license certifying that you're in good mental health and have no criminal record; a rifle three years later if you don't produce any problems with a smoothbore. Plus it's legal to own low-energy pistols (so called "non-lethal firearms"), mace sprays, tasers, and knifes up to 30cm long and 5 mm thick (if I remember).

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from charlie elk wrote 2 years 33 weeks ago

TS,
There is nothing wrong with attempting to understand and know your enemy that is how you defeat them. Obviously Putin is using his conservation side for propaganda purposes this interview demonstrates that hypocrisy clearly. It is worthy of publication for that reason alone. Sticking one's head in the sand wishing brutal dictators like Putin away is simply not effective.
later,
charlie

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tuesday Stine wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

When I read the article Mr. Young wrote on Mr. Putin, I was curious as to why OL would publish an article on a man that Mr. Young admits is "brutal". He said he could separate the conservation side of Mr. Putin from the brutal side. There are many men who love animals, but murder human beings. Do I wish to read about them. No, I don't. I am also disturbed by his "man crush" on such a person. To my understanding, OL is supposed to be for the freedom of all men and women hunting, families enjoying the outdoors, conservation to benefit everyone. So I still wonder what Mr. Young and OL were thinking, maybe we will never know.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mackeyev wrote 2 years 48 weeks ago

Sorry, guys. It's a shame. You shouldn't support him. He's a KGB general, and not much can you add to these three letters.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from charlie elk wrote 2 years 48 weeks ago

Congratulations on a good interview Gayne you have now officially gone international check out the coverage of you in the UK--
"Texas teacher with 'man crush' on Vladimir Putin granted rare interview"
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/russia/8529353/Texas-te...
I am surprised and disappointed Putin is not a hunter.
later,
charlie

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from rusticgeorgic wrote 2 years 48 weeks ago

Someone else who likes Putin! I call him "Super Putin" because he's always doing epic outdoorsy things without his shirt in pictures, and once saved a journalist from a lion! He showed up to the photo shoot, only to find the lion had attacked the photographer. He wrestled that lion to the ground! Super Putin strikes again!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from featherfisher wrote 2 years 48 weeks ago

This guy (Putin) is no hero. You don't get to where he was and still behind the scenes without having hidden a lot of bodies. The average Russian is not allowed to own weapons- Putin is really a great illusionist- he is to all what they want him to be- I have spent extensive time living in Eastern Europe- what the Russians did there is inexcusable- now when they join us on peace missions they hit the US Exchanges, rank and file privates arrive with military trucks- wads of money and electronics and all items worth taking back to mother Russia are soon loaded up for sale thru organized crime. Who will be featured next Mugabe or a past review of Adi Amin?

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from bberg7794 wrote 2 years 48 weeks ago

I thoroughly enjoyed this special interview and am happy that the focus was on Mr. Putin's conservation work and outdoor philosophy and did not stray too far into politics. I found Mr. Putin's comments to be thoughtful and candid, and I am very surprised that Outdoor Life was granted the time for an interview.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Boudreauxvich wrote 2 years 48 weeks ago

I too have lived in Russia since 2007 and can verify that while the RF gov't is working hard to curb corruption, it still is a major problem (although I wouldn't say it has "skyrocketed" under Putin). As for raydg's comments about poaching and the litterbug mentality of citizens, he is sadly 100% correct.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from awwris wrote 2 years 48 weeks ago

Actual raydg corruption along with tax fraud is decreasing. I had to do extensive research and variety of corruption around the world. I doubt the credibility of anything you said. Also this article has nothing even do with anything you said.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Kyle Keeton wrote 2 years 48 weeks ago

Fantastic article. I am very impressed by the truth in a Western press article for once. Unbelievable...

More leaders like Putin and this world would be a better place...

Kyle Keeton

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from raydg wrote 2 years 48 weeks ago

I am an American living in Russia and have been here since 2007. Granted Putin is a outdoorsman and love fishing, but under his leadership as President and now Prime Minister, corruption skyrocketed. Poaching is still a major problem and will be as Duma (like our House of Representatives) makes the laws and the enforcers use them to collect their bribes. As for the Russian people, they treat their country like a trash can. Litter all over the place and not just scraps of paper, but bags of trash. I cannot wait to come back to the US so that I can hunt and fish again.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from AlexRussia wrote 2 years 48 weeks ago

Great interview!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment (200 characters or less)

from AlexRussia wrote 2 years 48 weeks ago

Great interview!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from featherfisher wrote 2 years 48 weeks ago

This guy (Putin) is no hero. You don't get to where he was and still behind the scenes without having hidden a lot of bodies. The average Russian is not allowed to own weapons- Putin is really a great illusionist- he is to all what they want him to be- I have spent extensive time living in Eastern Europe- what the Russians did there is inexcusable- now when they join us on peace missions they hit the US Exchanges, rank and file privates arrive with military trucks- wads of money and electronics and all items worth taking back to mother Russia are soon loaded up for sale thru organized crime. Who will be featured next Mugabe or a past review of Adi Amin?

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from bberg7794 wrote 2 years 48 weeks ago

I thoroughly enjoyed this special interview and am happy that the focus was on Mr. Putin's conservation work and outdoor philosophy and did not stray too far into politics. I found Mr. Putin's comments to be thoughtful and candid, and I am very surprised that Outdoor Life was granted the time for an interview.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from charlie elk wrote 2 years 33 weeks ago

TS,
There is nothing wrong with attempting to understand and know your enemy that is how you defeat them. Obviously Putin is using his conservation side for propaganda purposes this interview demonstrates that hypocrisy clearly. It is worthy of publication for that reason alone. Sticking one's head in the sand wishing brutal dictators like Putin away is simply not effective.
later,
charlie

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from awwris wrote 2 years 48 weeks ago

Actual raydg corruption along with tax fraud is decreasing. I had to do extensive research and variety of corruption around the world. I doubt the credibility of anything you said. Also this article has nothing even do with anything you said.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Boudreauxvich wrote 2 years 48 weeks ago

I too have lived in Russia since 2007 and can verify that while the RF gov't is working hard to curb corruption, it still is a major problem (although I wouldn't say it has "skyrocketed" under Putin). As for raydg's comments about poaching and the litterbug mentality of citizens, he is sadly 100% correct.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from rusticgeorgic wrote 2 years 48 weeks ago

Someone else who likes Putin! I call him "Super Putin" because he's always doing epic outdoorsy things without his shirt in pictures, and once saved a journalist from a lion! He showed up to the photo shoot, only to find the lion had attacked the photographer. He wrestled that lion to the ground! Super Putin strikes again!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from charlie elk wrote 2 years 48 weeks ago

Congratulations on a good interview Gayne you have now officially gone international check out the coverage of you in the UK--
"Texas teacher with 'man crush' on Vladimir Putin granted rare interview"
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/russia/8529353/Texas-te...
I am surprised and disappointed Putin is not a hunter.
later,
charlie

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mackeyev wrote 2 years 48 weeks ago

Sorry, guys. It's a shame. You shouldn't support him. He's a KGB general, and not much can you add to these three letters.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Danila Volodarskey wrote 29 weeks 4 days ago

First, I can't get the problem with taking interviews with whoever. You don't want to read it? Don't.

Second, Russian citizens are allowed to own firearms - or rather, longarms. A smoothbore after getting a license certifying that you're in good mental health and have no criminal record; a rifle three years later if you don't produce any problems with a smoothbore. Plus it's legal to own low-energy pistols (so called "non-lethal firearms"), mace sprays, tasers, and knifes up to 30cm long and 5 mm thick (if I remember).

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from raydg wrote 2 years 48 weeks ago

I am an American living in Russia and have been here since 2007. Granted Putin is a outdoorsman and love fishing, but under his leadership as President and now Prime Minister, corruption skyrocketed. Poaching is still a major problem and will be as Duma (like our House of Representatives) makes the laws and the enforcers use them to collect their bribes. As for the Russian people, they treat their country like a trash can. Litter all over the place and not just scraps of paper, but bags of trash. I cannot wait to come back to the US so that I can hunt and fish again.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Kyle Keeton wrote 2 years 48 weeks ago

Fantastic article. I am very impressed by the truth in a Western press article for once. Unbelievable...

More leaders like Putin and this world would be a better place...

Kyle Keeton

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tuesday Stine wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

When I read the article Mr. Young wrote on Mr. Putin, I was curious as to why OL would publish an article on a man that Mr. Young admits is "brutal". He said he could separate the conservation side of Mr. Putin from the brutal side. There are many men who love animals, but murder human beings. Do I wish to read about them. No, I don't. I am also disturbed by his "man crush" on such a person. To my understanding, OL is supposed to be for the freedom of all men and women hunting, families enjoying the outdoors, conservation to benefit everyone. So I still wonder what Mr. Young and OL were thinking, maybe we will never know.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment (200 characters or less)

bmxbiz