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Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio has received the ultimate accolade from Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

Putin, who cultivates a macho image, called DiCaprio "a real man" for coming to the ongoing summit on endangered tigers in St. Petersburg despite the fact that a fire on his first airliner forced an emergency landing in New York and strong headwinds forced his second plane to make an unscheduled fueling stop in Helsinki.

Putin called DiCaprio a "muzhik" (a real man) for his persistence and thanked him for pledging 1 million dollars to the tiger cause.

DiCaprio in turn called himself half-Russian, noting that two of his late grandparents were Russian.

The tiger summit ends on November 24.

compiled from agency reports