Kremlin releases gym pictures of Putin and Medvedev

Credit: REUTERS/Yekaterina Shtukina/RIA Novosti/Pool

The Kremlin has released pictures of Russian President Vladimir Putin working out at the gym with Prime Minister Dmitrty Medvedev, apparently aimed at shoring up Putin's rugged, masculine image as his popularity dips.

Wearing a white T-shirt, track suit trousers and running shoes, Putin is shown on muscle-building apparatus in a publicity stunt that not dissimilar to previous images of him shirtless riding a horse, flying a supersonic jet and hunting a tiger.

The pictures are apparently designed to boost Putin's rugged, masculine image. Credit: REUTERS/Michael Klimentyev/RIA Novosti/Kremlin

Putin's approval ranking has been damaged by a sluggish economy and free-falling rouble whose value has halved since last year due to a decline in the oil prices and Western sanctions over Moscow's role in the Ukraine crisis.

Putin watches Prime Minister Medvedev uses the gym equipment. Credit: REUTERS/Yekaterina Shtukina/RIA Novosti/Pool

After their workout, at Putin's Black Sea's residence of Bocharov Ruchei, near Sochi, the two politicians were photographed having a nice cup of tea together.

Putin and Medvedev have tea after their work out. Credit: REUTERS/Yekaterina Shtukina/RIA Novosti/Pool