Putin says he ‘somersaulted’ off horse in rare confession about training accident

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Russia’s President has been photographed horseback riding numerous times – most famously topless. Mr Putin is often portrayed as a proud leader but in a rare admission on Friday, the 68-year-old admitted to falling off the saddle.

The Russian leader was quoted by TASS news agency as saying: “They were once filming me, I was training, and it happened that the horse stopped in front of a barrier and I did a somersault, literally a somersault.”

Mr Putin did not give details about when the incident happened.

He claimed to have fallen “fairly comfortably” and told his cameraman to keep the footage.

However, Mr Putin added how the cameraman said he would delete the video.

“[It was] the first time I heard this answer from him: I’ll delete it immediately,” said Mr Putin.

The Kremlin rarely discloses information about the Russian President’s health or mishaps.

This week it was revealed that Mr Putin received a coronavirus vaccine but chose not to be inoculated in front of cameras.

The Kremlin did not confirm which vaccine Mr Putin received.

Dmitry Peskov, Kremlin spokesperson, told reporters on Tuesday: “Putin has been vaccinated against the coronavirus.”

Questioned over why the president was not filmed or pictured, Mr Peskov said journalists would have to “trust his word” that Mr Putin was vaccinated.

He added: “The president has already done a lot to popularise the vaccine.

“As to being vaccinated on camera, well he has never been a fan of that, he doesn’t like that.”

However, Mr Putin does like to pose for action photos of him dipping into icy waters, horseback riding, doing judo and freeing tigers into the wild.

In 2017, the Russian President was pictured fishing and horseback riding shirtless.

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Mr Putin later defended his topless pictures and told a journalist he has “no need to hide”.

Armin Wolf, an Austrian reporter, asked Mr Putin: “There are many photos of you half-naked, which is rather unusual for a head of state.

“These photos were not taken by paparazzi or tourists. They were published by the Kremlin. What is the story behind these photos?”

Mr Putin responded: “You said ‘half-naked’ not ‘naked,’ thank God.

“When I am on vacation I see no need to hide behind the bushes, and there is nothing wrong with that.”

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