Orthodox Christians of Kyrgyzstan take dip in icy water for the Epiphany

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In a State video released online, Putin can be seen marching towards the partially frozen lake in knee high boots and a sheepskin coat.

A half-naked Vladimir Putin has carried out another of his macho photo ops - this time plunging into an icy lake as park of a ritual to mark Orthodox Epiphany. He then removed his attire, as is traditional for the Epiphany bathing, and took the dip in the water that had been blessed by the Russian clergy. Temperatures there have been so cold that eyelashes frost over upon exposure to outside air.

Russian television showed him approaching a hole cut in the ice on Lake Seliger wearing a thick beige fur coat and thick Ugg-style boots.

The Russian leader followed a custom observed by many Orthodox Christians on the feast of Epiphany-a half-naked submersion in cold water that mirrors the baptism of Jesus of Nazareth in the river Jordan.

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Putin, who frequently attends Russian Orthodox ceremonies, is lobbying for re-election in the March 2018 presidential vote.

In August previous year he was photographed with his shirt off catching fish in a mountain lake in Siberia and in August 2009, a bare-chested Putin was pictured riding a horse during a Siberian holiday.

In August 2009, a bare-chested Putin was pictured riding a horse during a Siberian holiday.

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