Russian President Vladimir Putin insulted Western leaders' "disgusting" bodies after they mocked a now-infamous photo of Putin from 2009 that shows him riding a horse while shirtless.
Putin reacted after Western leaders, including Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, made jokes at his expense during the recent G7 summit.
Johnson suggested that those in attendance should go shirtless to show that we’re tougher than Putin" while Trudeau joked that world leaders were about to "get the bare-chested horseback riding display.” Von der Leyen, meanwhile, quipped that "Horseback riding is the best."
You can hear their remarks in the video below.
Putin later responded with anger, telling a reporter that "unlike him, Western leaders abuse alcohol and don’t do sports."
“[To look good] it’s necessary to stop abusing alcohol and other bad habits, do physical exercise and take part in sports."
“I don’t know how they wanted to get undressed, above or below the waist. But I think it would be a disgusting sight in any case.”
Putin has taken great efforts over the years to present himself as a rugged outdoorsman, occasionally releasing official photographs of himself fishing or tubing while shirtless, in addition to the widely shared horseback riding photo.
Many have mocked Putin for his response
Putin's reaction came as the G7 summit dedicated considerable time to mapping out a desired timeline for the end of the war in Ukraine, which has had detrimental and costly effects on fuel prices and supply chains around the world.
The West has continued to impose sanctions on Russia, including a ban on importing new Russian gold, which have dealt significant blows to the nation's economy. Earlier this week, Russia defaulted on its foreign debt for the first time since 1918, the year of the Bolshevik Revolution.