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Turkey's Delight: Vladimir Putin Inspires 'Flight Of Dreams'

Vladimir Putin took to the skies this week in an attempt to teach some young cranes how to fly their migration route.

Vladimir Putin took to the skies this week in an attempt to teach some young cranes how to fly their migration route.

From tagging polar bears to bottle-feeding a baby moose or saving Siberian tigers, Russian President Vladimir Putin's penchant for wildlife stunts is legendary.

This week, some rare crane chicks were the latest to benefit from his rampant zoophilia when he used an ultralight aircraft to try and teach the young birds how to fly their migration route.

When some of them declined to follow him on his "flight of hope," he used it as an opportunity to take a swipe at protesters who have demonstrated against his return to the presidency in recent months, describing those who refused to take his lead as "the weak ones."

He wasn't quite so good-humored and sanguine about the matter when subsequently questioned about it at a press conference during this week's APEC summit. (Perhaps his sangfroid had been shaken by reports that he had been indirectly responsible for the deaths of some of the endangered birds?)

"What is there to say?" was his curt response to a reporter's question on the ultralight escapade. "Try to fly it yourselves."

Well, it seems some young Russians have taken Putin at his word.

In a video recently posted on YouTube, they also use an ultralight plane to take to the skies with some feathered friends, although they stopped short of doing so with a threatened species.

Instead of a "flight of hope" for some baby cranes, they embarked on what they dubbed a "flight of dreams," which aimed to give a flightless chicken, goose, and turkey a unique opportunity to take to the skies for the first time in their lives.

From the video, it looks like they all managed to return to Earth unharmed.

WATCH: A "flight of dreams" inspired by Vladimir Putin

-- Coilin O'Connor

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Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at

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