Russian president Vladimir Putin is all over the news today.
This is nothing new: in the last little while, he's been criticized over the imprisonment of three members of the band Pussy Riot, his support for the Assad regime in Syria, his allegedly excessive lifestyle, and his apparent ability to beat Russian hockey greats at their own game.
Here's an understatement: Mr. Putin is not your average politician. So to help you keep track of the unlikely things he's doing and saying today, here's a brief roundup:
Reiterating His Support For President Assad And Accusing The U.S. Of Hiring al Qaeda
In an interview that aired on Russian television today, Mr. Putin said Russia is not ready to shift its stance on Syria, and even hinted the U.S. is employing al-Qaeda operatives to help drive President Bashar al-Assad from power: "Today somebody is using al-Qaeda fighters or people from other organizations with the same extreme views to achieve their goals in Syria."
Flying With Cranes
Then, there's this. President Putin put on a baggy white costume and goggles and took the front seat of a motorized deltaplane that was helping Siberian cranes, bred in captivity, to find their migration route.
Questioning Mitt Romney
In the same Russian television interview where he talked about Syria, Mr. Putin called Mitt Romney's criticism of Russia "mistaken," and suggested that a Romney presidency would widen the rift over an anti-missile shield the U.S. is deploying in Europe. Romney has called Russia the United States' "No. 1 geopolitical foe."
Mr. Putin followed up his "mistaken" comment with this: "We'll work with whichever president is elected by the American people. But our effort will be only as efficient as our partners want it to be."
Speaking Up For Group Sex (Because It Lets You "Take It Easy A Bit")
In case you were wondering about his stance on group sex, Mr. Putin has offered some clarification. During the TV interview, he said "Some fans say that group sex is better than one-on-one because, like in any collective work, you can take it easy a bit."
He was discussing a 2008 incident when radical art group Voina recorded a group sex act in a museum to protest the election of Dmitry Medvedev to the presidency. According to the Associated Free Press, Putin was making a Soviet-era joke.
That's a lot of stuff for one leader to tackle. Wonder how he'll relax tonight. Maybe riding a horse, shirtless?
Or swimming in a freezing river?
Or leading a motorcycle gang?
Only he knows for sure.
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