Action man Putin tackles Russian wildfires

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Media caption,

Putin took off in a Be-200 firefighting plane and then moved into the co-pilot's seat

He has been pictured riding bare-chested through the mountains, and swimming in a Siberian river.

Now Russia's action-loving PM Vladimir Putin has stepped into the battle to contain the wildfires sweeping parts of his country.

He took to the flight deck of a firefighting plane dropping water on forest fires in Ryazan region.

It is the latest in a series of well-publicised events showing the former KGB spy in "macho" scenarios.

Dumped water

He began his journey in the passenger compartment, before taking his place in the co-pilot's seat.

Cameras on board the Be-200 firefighting plane then captured the moment he pushed a button to dump 24 tons of water on the burning forests below.

Footage broadcast on Russian television showed the prime minister asking the pilot: "Was that OK?"

The pilot replied: "A direct hit."

The 57-year-old former president has often been portrayed as a man of action.

While president, he was famously photographed fishing while on holiday, stripped to the waist and wearing a pair of combat trousers.