Vladimir Putin Is a Real-Life Bond Villain

Hey look, the Russian president is reminding us how macho he is–again.

For his latest act of valor and daring, Russian Federation president and actual — OK, probable —super villain Vladimir Putin took a casual mini-sub ride to the bottom of the Black Sea, on Tuesday where he prowled his secret underwater lair stroking a white Persian cat as he murmured about the dastardly things he will do once he captures James Bond.

We kid, sort of. The Russian strongman, decked out out in a beige pantsuit, really just took the bubble-top sub down to view a Byzantine-era shipwreck. The location for Putin’s stunt couldn’t have been much of a coincidence — his tour took place in waters just off Crimean peninsula, which his country annexed in 2014 after the Ukraine uprising, claiming Crimea was always more aligned with Russia in the first place.

This is just the latest demonstration of Putin reinforcing his hyper-masculine profile and projecting an image of power to the rest of the world. It’s also a relatively mild demonstration for Vladimir Putin, whose highly-staged photo-ops designed to bolster his image have made him look more like Ernst Blofeld than preside

Here’s video of Putin in 2010, demonstrating his prowess in Judo, sparring with members of Russia’s national team. The Russian president is, perhaps appropriately for a former KGB man, a black belt.

Also in 2010, on a state visit to the Khakassia region, Putin suited up and galloped in the snow like an old-fashioned Cossack warrior. Because what else would Vladimir Putin do when he sees a horse and snow?

As much as he likes horseback riding, Putin also enjoys showing off his world-class version of “dad-bod,” so of course the two were combined during a trip he made in the summer of 2009 to Siberia.

Also in 2009, Putin took part in a judo training session during a visit to St. Petersburg.

Here, Putin aims at a whale with a crossbow (to take a piece of its skin for analysis, allegedly) on the Olga Bay north of Nakhodka in 2010.

Finally, here’s Putin with a Siberian tiger he tranquilized then tagged himself while visiting the region. It was part of an effort to track and preserve the great cats, which are in danger of dying out.

At least it many press outlets reported  Putin shot the predator with a tranquilizer gun. He may have put it out with a special sleeper hold. With Vladimir Putin, you never know.

Photos by Anadolu Agency/AFP/Barcroft Media