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39 Photos That Prove Birthday Boy Vladimir Putin Is The Most Badass Leader In The World

Today is Russian macho-man Vladimir Putin’s birthday. The Russian president turns 61 years old.

We don’t know what he’s doing to celebrate it — perhaps an elephant hunt, bear wrestling, or maybe just spending the day at home while propping up a brutal Syrian regime — but the President has aggressively worked to develop a macho image.

He’s successfully maintained control of Russia since 1999 in part due to his publicity campaigns.

Here are 39 photos that confirm that Vladimir Putin is a consummate badass.

Vladimir Putin is a consummate outdoors-man. Here Putin recharges on a visit to the Siberian Khakasiya region.

Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin holds a cup during his working visit to the Siberian Khakasiya region near Karatash settlement outside the city of Abakan February 25, 2010. REUTERS/Ria Novosti/Alexei Druzhinin/Pool

A 16-year veteran of the KGB, Putin knows his way around a gun. After his retirement in 1991, he rapidly rose through Russian politics to become top dog in the world's largest nation.

Russian President Vladimir Putin stands with a gun at a shooting gallery of the new GRU military intelligence headquarters building as he visits it in Moscow November 8, 2006.

Here, Putin trains with an assault rifle simulator.

Russian Prime Minister and president-elect Vladimir Putin takes aim with a model assault rifle at an electronic shooting range during his visit to a research facility of national railway company 'Russian Railways' in Moscow April 26, 2012. REUTERS/Alexsey Druginyn/RIA Novosti/Pool

Here's Putin riding a Harley Davidson to a meeting with motorcycle enthusiasts in Crimea in 2010.

Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (C) rides a Harley Davidson Lehman Trike as he arrives for a meeting with motorbikers at their camp near Sevastopol in Ukraine's Crimea, July 24, 2010. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin

The high council of Russian bikers unanimously voted him into a Hells Angels rank. His nickname is 'Abaddon,' a Hebrew word that roughly translates to The Destroyer.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (C) rides with Alexander Zaldostanov, leader of Nochniye Volki (the Night Wolves) biker group, during his visit to a bike festival in the southern Russian city of Novorossiisk August 29, 2011. REUTERS/Ivan Sekretarev/Pool

Putin likes speed; In 2010 he took a test drive of a Renault Formula One car a racing track in Leningrad. He reached the maximum speed of 240 km per hour.

Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin sits in a car from the Renault Formula One team before test driving it at a racing track in Leningrad Region, November 7, 2010. REUTERS/Ria Novosti/Pool/Alexei Druzhinin

Here, Putin and Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev ride a snowmobile at an Olympic alpine ski park. The pair will later hit the slopes.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (R) and President Dmitry Medvedev ride a snowmobile at Russia's ski resort Krasnaya Polyana near Sochi in southern Russia, January 3, 2010. Picture taken January 3, 2010. REUTERS/RIA Novosti/Kremlin/Dmitry Astakhov

Here he is today, giving Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying his patented Putin Glare

He also lead the Russian team in a 'friendly' match against neighbouring Finland. Here, he presents skates to the Finnish president Sauli Niinisto

Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) presents Finnish President Sauli Niinisto with a skate gift during a friendly ice hockey game at an ice palace in the resort town of Igora in Leningrad region, June 22, 2012. Picture taken June 22, 2012. REUTERS/Aleksey Nikolskyi/RIA Novosti/Pool

Putin makes a slap shot right before a youth ice hockey tournament. Putin picked up the sport after promising the Russia men's junior ice hockey team he'd learn it following their win in the 2011 world tournament.

Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (L) takes part in a training session for young ice hockey players before the start of the 'Golden Puck' youth tournament finals in Moscow April 15, 2011. Putin donned skates for an ice hockey training session on Friday in the latest in a series of stunts which help to keep his approval ratings high. Picture taken April 15, 2011. REUTERS/Alexei Nikolsky/RIA Novosti/Pool

The man is also a sixth degree Judo black belt. He also holds a second black belt in Kyokushin kaikan karate.

Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (top) attends a judo training session at Top Athletic School in St. Petersburg December 18, 2009. Picture taken December 18, 2009. REUTERS/Ria Novosti/Pool/Alexei Druzhinin

His signature Judo move is the Harai Goshi sweeping hip throw. He wrote a book on the form of combat.

Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (top) takes part in a judo training session at the 'Moscow' sports complex in St. Petersburg, December 22, 2010. REUTERS/Alexsey Druginyn/RIA Novosti/Pool

Here, Putin educates a Judo student in the art of inflicting pain on enemies with his bare hands.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin instructs a trainee during a judo demonstration at a regional judo centre in the city of Kemerovo, January 24, 2012. REUTERS/Pool

Still, he's not always the one in the arena. Here he adjudicates an arm wrestling match between two competitors at a Kremlin youth camp.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (C) adjudicates an arm-wrestling match during his visit to the summer camp of the pro-Kremlin youth group 'Nashi' at lake Seliger, some 400kms north of Moscow August 1, 2011. REUTERS/Mikhail Metzel/Pool

He swims in freezing Siberian lakes for fun.

Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin swims in a lake in southern Siberia's Tuva region August 3, 2009. Putin, a judo black belt who has flown in a fighter aircraft and shot a Siberian tiger in the wild, plunged into the depths of Lake Baikal aboard a mini-submersible on Saturday in a mission that added a new dimension to his macho image. Picture taken August 3, 2009. REUTERS/RIA Novosti/Pool/Alexei Druzhinin

Besides his love for hand to hand combat, Putin like to relax by fishing.

Russia's President Vladimir Putin fishes in the Yenisei River in Siberia as he makes a tour together with Prince Albert II of Monaco, August 13, 2007. REUTERS/RIA Novosti/KREMLIN

One of the Russian President's favourite hobbies is hunting, an he frequently goes on expeditions to aid researchers in tagging animals.

Russia's President Vladimir Putin walks with a rifle in southern Siberia's Tuva region August 15, 2007. REUTERS/RIA Novosti/KREMLIN

In 2008, Putin went on a tiger hunt in the Russian far-east as part of a scientific expedition.

Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin holds a tranquilliser gun as he visits the academy of sciences Ussuri reserve in Russia's far east August 31, 2008. REUTERS/RIA Novosti/Kremlin/Alexei Druzhinin

He shot a tiger with a tranquilizer dart, which allowed the researchers to tag the big cat with a satellite tracker.

Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (C) holds a five-year-old tiger's head as scientists put on a collar with a satellite tracker on the animal in the academy of sciences Ussuri reserve in Russia's Far East August 31, 2008..

He's also shot a polar bear for science. This allowed researchers to tag and track the arctic bear.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (R) attaches a tracking collar to a 230-kg (507-pound) polar bear as he assists in polar bear research during his visit to Alexandra Land on Franz Josef Land in the far north of Russia in the Barents Sea April 29, 2010. REUTERS/RIA Novosti/Pool/Alexei Nikolsky

No beast is safe from an armed Vladimir Putin. He shot an endangered grey whale with a crossbow from a motorboat, again to help researchers track the animal.

Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (L) fires darts with a crossbow at an endangered grey whale from a motorboat in Olga Bay in the Sea of Japan, August 25, 2010. Putin hit the whale with the darts designed to take skin samples while participating in a whale research study with members of the Kronotsky Biosphere Reserve off Russia's Far Eastern coast on Wednesday, according to local media. REUTERS/Ria Novosti/Pool/Alexei Druzhinin

Putin stares down a young chick at an Agricultural Exposition.

Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin visits an agricultural exhibition at Russia's Exhibition Centre in Moscow October 11, 2008. REUTERS/RIA Novosti/Alexei Druzhinin/Pool (RUSSIA)

Here Putin goes on an expedition to inspect the snow leopard's habitat.

Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (R), Emergencies Minister Sergei Shoigu (C) and former Government Chief of Staff and newly-appointed Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin take part in an expedition to Ubsunur Hollow Biosphere Preserve to inspect the snow leopard's habitat in Tyva Republic in the Siberian Federal District October 29, 2010. REUTERS/Ria Novosti/Pool/Alexei Druzhinin

He snagged this fish on the snow leopard expedition.

Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin demonstrates the catch as he takes part in an expedition to Ubsunur Hollow Biosphere Preserve to inspect the snow leopard's habitat in Tyva Republic in the Siberian Federal District October 29, 2010. REUTERS/Ria Novosti/Pool/Alexei Druzhinin

He also has found ways to help scientists tag creatures without shooting them. Here he feeds a Beluga whale name Dasha.

Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin feeds a Beluga whale named Dasha as he visits Chkalov island, 700 kilometres (440 miles) northeast of the city of Khabarovsk, July 31, 2009. Putin, a judo black belt who last year shot a tiger, on Friday demonstrated his softer side by donning a wet suit and tagging a whale. Picture taken July 31, 2009. REUTERS/RIA Novosti/Kremlin/Alexei Nikolsky

Here he is, attaching a satellite tracking device to Dasha shortly after.

Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (3rd L) attaches a satellite tracking tag to a Beluga whale named Dasha as he visits Chkalov island, 700 kilometres (440 miles) northeast of the city of Khabarovsk, July 31, 2009. Putin, a judo black belt who last year shot a tiger, on Friday demonstrated his softer side by donning a wet suit and tagging a whale. Picture taken July 31, 2009. REUTERS/RIA Novosti/Kremlin/Alexei Nikolsky

He also attempted to help endangered Siberian cranes begin their migration routes by assisting them with a motorised hang glider.

Russian President Vladimir Putin sits in a motorised deltaplane at Yamalo-Nenets district September 5, 2012. Putin, who has tracked a Siberian tiger and posed with a polar bear, on Wednesday took his love of wildlife to new heights by flying with cranes - to lead them on a migration route. Picture taken September 5, 2012. REUTERS/Alexsey Druginyn/RIA Novosti/Kremlin

It was altogether unsuccessful due to strong winds.

Russian President Vladimir Putin (front) flies in a motorised deltaplane at Yamalo-Nenets district September 5, 2012. Putin, who has tracked a Siberian tiger and posed with a polar bear, on Wednesday took his love of wildlife to new heights by flying with cranes - to lead them on a migration route. Picture taken September 5, 2012. REUTERS/Alexsey Druginyn/RIA Novosti/Kremlin

Here he rides a horse through a river in the Tyva Republic in the Siberian Federal District.

Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin rides a horse as he takes part in an expedition to Ubsunur Hollow Biosphere Preserve to inspect the snow leopard's habitat in Tyva Republic in the Siberian Federal District October 29, 2010. REUTERS/Ria Novosti/Pool/Alexei Druzhinin

Putin takes in the scenic Siberian wilderness while shirtless on a horse.

Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin rides a horse in southern Siberia's Tuva region August 3, 2009. Putin, a judo black belt who has flown in a fighter aircraft and shot a Siberian tiger in the wild, plunged into the depths of Lake Baikal aboard a mini-submersible on Saturday in a mission that added a new dimension to his macho image. Picture taken August 3, 2009. REUTERS/RIA Novosti/Pool/Alexei Druzhinin

Vladimir Putin again eschews a shirt while hiking along the Siberian Khemchik River in the summer.

Russian President Vladimir Putin walks along the Khemchik River in southern Siberia's Tuva region August 15, 2007. REUTERS/RIA Novosti/KREMLIN

Still, there's a lot more to Putin than shooting animals with tranquilizer guns while shirtless. Putin tickles the ivories for a crowd at the Theatre of Nations in Moscow. He often plays the patriotic song 'From What The Motherland Begins?' and the 'Anthem of Saint Petersburg,' his hometown jam.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin plays on a piano during his visit to the Theatre of Nations in Moscow September 15, 2011. REUTERS/Alexei Nikolsky/RIA Novosti/Pool

Putin is also a man of science. Here he SCUBA dives at an archaeological site.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (C) prepares to dive at an archaeological site off the Taman peninsular in southern Russia August 10, 2011. REUTERS/Alexsey Druginyn/RIA Novosti/Pool

The hunt was 'successful,' given that Putin found two amphorae that were placed there by the archaeologists before hand.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin carries artifacts he recovered whilst diving at an archaeological site off the Taman peninsular in southern Russia August 10, 2011. REUTERS/Alexsey Druginyn/RIA Novosti/Pool

Here Putin hikes beyond the Arctic Circle to meet with scientists measuring the impacts of global climate change.

Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (L) talks to a member of the 'Lena-2010' Russian-German scientific expedition on Samoilovsky Island in Far Eastern Federal District, August 23, 2010. Putin travelled beyond the Arctic Circle on Monday to look into evidence on climate change after a record heatwave devastated central Russia this summer. REUTERS/Ria Novosti/Pool/Alexei Druzhinin

There's also a softer side to the Russian President. Here, Putin strokes a two-month-old tiger cub he received as a birthday present at his Novo Ogaryovo residence outside of Moscow. It will soon go to a zoo.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin strokes a tiger cub at his Novo Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow October 9, 2008. The two-and-a-half month old female tiger was presented to Putin on his birthday and will soon resettle to a zoo, Russian media reported. Picture taken October 9, 2008. REUTERS/RIA Novosti/Pool (RUSSIA)

Putin hosted a lavish tea party with an 8-year-old patient of the Rogachev Federal Research and Clinical Center of Pediatric Hematology, Oncology and Immunology

Russian President Vladimir Putin pours tea for Sonya, 8, a patient of the Rogachev Federal Research and Clinical Center of Pediatric Hematology, Oncology and Immunology during her visit to the Kremlin May 9, 2012. . REUTERS/Alexei Nikolsky/RIA Novosti/Pool

The Russian President bottle-feeds young elk at a nature reserve.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin feeds a young elk at the national park 'Losiny Ostrov' (Elk Island) in northeast Moscow, June 5, 2010. REUTERS/RIA Novosti/Pool/Alexei Druzhinin

And in this shot, Putin kicks back and relaxes with loyal second in command Dmitry Medvedev as they watch a soccer match.

Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev (L) and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin watch the international friendly soccer match between Argentina and Russia in a cafe at the Black Sea resort of Sochi August 12, 2009

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