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This article was published on August 17, 2017

The Putin shirtless challenge is the ice bucket challenge of Russia

The Putin shirtless challenge is the ice bucket challenge of Russia

They say he’s more than a man but less than a god. When they say this, of course, they’re talking about Vladimir Putin — king of the shameless outdoor bare-chested, dad bod(ish) photo.

Here he is, for example, flipping a judo opponent (without a shirt on); riding a horse (without a shirt on); swimming butterfly (without a shirt on) and tanning by a lake (without a shirt on). (In fairness, the last two make some shirtless sense.)

Previously, it was just something Putin caught a lot of shit for, but now it’s this summer’s Russian equivalent of the Ice Bucket Challenge. In that Pavel Durov, the founder of the social networking sites VKontakte (a Russian Facebook of sorts) and Telegram (a messaging app seemingly best suited for affairs), recently posted a Putin-esque photo of himself with the hashtag #PutinShirtlessChallenge:

After which, a large number of his followers have done the same—adding an authoritarian twist to #freethenipple. You could say they’re “putin’” themselves out there for all the world (and Putin himself) to see.

Here are a few of our favorites…



A post shared by Андрей (@andrei_krivoshein) on

Брат #putinshirtlesschallenge

A post shared by Olga Kasargevskay (@kasargevskay) on

❌? #putinshirtlesschallenge

A post shared by @zekavkaz on

#ответпутину #PutinShirtlessChallenge

A post shared by Саша Добрый (@dobrofotopro) on

A post shared by Anatoliy Shatunov (@_anasha) on


A post shared by Визард-М ( on


A post shared by dmitry pekarnikov (@dmitrypekarnikov) on

This story is republished from MEL Magazine, a new men’s digital magazine that understands that there’s no playbook for how to be a guy. Sign up for their newsletter here and follow them down here: