Russian president Vladimir Putin’s opponents gleefully sought to prove the strongman had massively exaggerated the weight of a pike he caught on a recent fishing expedition to Siberia.
The Kremlin announced that Putin managed to catch a 21-kilogramme (46-pound) pike while on a trip to the region of Tuva, providing television footage and pictures of the president stripped to the waist as he cast his line.
The images were clearly aimed at proving that Putin at the age of 60 is still comfortable in raw nature and has the physical energy to catch a huge fish and lead his nation in changing times.
But the catch immediately sent the opposition — whose scrutiny on the Internet of Putin’s stunts becomes ever more thorough each year — scurrying to their fishing manuals to prove the Kremlin wrong.
And prominent opposition bloggers claimed Monday that Putin had fallen into the classic amateur fisherman’s trap of exaggerating the size of his catch.