Putin rides a horse in southern Siberia's Tuva region shortly before coming across a shepherd and his children. Putin gave the shepherd’s son his watch as a gift and offered the father his hunting knife.
Cult personality: Well, not quite a cult. But don’t underestimate how much damage 10 years of Yeltsin, his antics, ailments and slurring on television, did to Russians and their view of themselves. Putin has given them something much more in keeping with the macho spirit of the Russian muzhik: a horse-riding, bare-chested, tiger-wrestling, clean living, straight-talking action man.