Leadership

Putin: 'I am not a woman, so I don’t have bad days'

Russian President Vladimir Putin exercises in a gym at the Bocharov Ruchei state residence in Sochi, Russia, August 30, 2015.
Michael Klimentyev | RIA Novosti | Kremlin | Reuters
Russian President Vladimir Putin exercises in a gym at the Bocharov Ruchei state residence in Sochi, Russia, August 30, 2015.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is always at his best, he tells director Oliver Stone in a new documentary called "The Putin Interviews" that will air on Showtime June 12-15. The politician attributes his stamina and stability in part to the fact that he's a man.

As Bloomberg reports, "'I am not a woman, so I don't have bad days,' he tells Stone while giving a tour of the Kremlin's gilded throne room. 'I am not trying to insult anyone. That's just the nature of things. There are certain natural cycles.'"

Later in the interview for the documentary, which Bloomberg describes as friendly bordering on fawning, Putin reminds Stone that he is a "Judo master" in peak physical shape.

Elsewhere, Putin is shown indulging his now-familiar passion for playing ice hockey, and flexing his muscles on an exercise machine. He told Stone that he lifts weights and then swims every day. Putin's also seen feeding carrots to a thoroughbred horse named after Dutch theoretical physicist Johannes Diderik van der Waals at his residence.

This kind of swagger is not unusual for the 64-year-old, who appears to enjoy being photographed shirtless in the outdoors as well as while holding firearms and playing sports, and who recently bragged that Russia's prostitutes are "undoubtedly the best in the world."

America's president has professed admiration for the virility of Russia's: Donald Trump has called Putin "very smart" and said that, unlike former President Barack Obama, "he's a leader." During the 2016 campaign, he criticized Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton for her "stamina" and accused her of being "low energy."

Vladimir Putin swims in a lake in southern Siberia's Tuva region August 3, 2009.
Alexei Druzhinin | Reuters
Vladimir Putin swims in a lake in southern Siberia's Tuva region August 3, 2009.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Tuesday that he is acting on Trump's instructions "to rebuild relations with Moscow," despite the ongoing investigations into the White House's relationship with the Kremlin and its efforts to affect the outcome of the election.

Sexism in Russia remains a persistent problem, according to Russia Beyond the Headlines, and "discrimination against women is commonplace." Columnist and chief editor of the online poster site Ezhikezhik.ru Svetlana Feoktistova tells that site, "Men allow themselves to use insulting expressions, engage in sexual harassment, and make dirty jokes, thinking that it is normal and that if a woman is offended, she lacks a sense of humor.

"There is a male primacy in work issues."

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