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In his latest effort to cultivate the image of a vigorous and engaged president, Vladimir Putin has taken to the skies to fly with the cranes.

The Russian head of state, wearing a white suit to imitate a crane, flew in a motorized light aircraft alongside endangered Siberian white cranes early on September 6.

The mission was aimed at showing the young cranes, who were born in captivity, how to fly their migration route.

The exercise occurred on the Yamal Peninsula, where Putin visited the Kushavet ornithological research center while making his way to an Asia-Pacific international summit opening in Vladivostok on September 8.

It was the latest stunt involving animals and the veteran Russian leader.

Putin has previously shot a Siberian tiger with a tranquilizer dart, and posed with a polar bear while taking part in a tracking mission.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AP
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