Vladimir Putin, known for his love of outdoor activities and commitment to Christianity, took to Lake Seliger north of Moscow on the night of January 18-19, to participate in the annual bathing in icy waters on the Epiphany Day, commemorating the baptism of Jesus Christ in the Jordan River that took place over two millennia ago.
The Russian president walked to the pool in a fur coat, on his way, asking the journalists whether they were feeling cold and then took a dip in the cold waters of the lake blessed by the Russian clergy.
"I want to say again: this isn't Vladimir Putin's first experience. He has been participating in bathing annually for many years," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.
Thousands of people all across Russia braved freezing winter temperatures to bathe in ice-cold rivers, ponds and lakes, celebrating the Orthodox Christian holiday of the Epiphany — the baptism of Jesus Christ.