The Russian president took the plunge in temperatures of around -5C
Russian president Vladimir Putin has stripped off to brave the icy elements as part of a religious ceremony near Moscow.
Putin took the plunge in temperatures of around -5C for the annual ritual at Lake Seliger to the north-west of the Russian capital.
Thousands of Russians observe the practice every year
In a State video released online, Putin can be seen marching towards the partially frozen lake in knee high boots and a sheepskin coat.
Orthodox priests can be seen chanting and waving incense for the ceremony marking the Epiphany – which is celebrated on January 19th by churches following the Julian calendar.
In the video, he can be seen blessing himself as he lowers himself into the water wearing only his swimming trunks.
It is reportedly the first time has publicly taken part in the ritual.
However a Government spokesperson told the Tass state news agency that he has been observing the ritual in private “for a number of years now.”