Russian President Vladimir Putin reacts awkwardly as a priest bows to kiss his hand during a visit to country’s northern Valaam Island.
Vladimir Putin visited a 14th century monastery on Valaam Island, but appears ruffled when a Russian Orthodox priest tries to kiss his hand.
The peculiar incident came during Vladimir Putin’s visit to the Holy Transfiguration Valaam Monastery on Valaam Island in the north of the country.
It was going smoothly at first as Vladimir Putin greeted believers outside a cathedral, and then shook hands with several Russian Orthodox priests.
However, footage aired on Russian state television showed how a priest bowed and tried to kiss the leader’s hand before Vladimir Putin sharply withdrew his hand away and made a fist by the side of his head.
Vladimir Putin, who has ruled Russia as president or prime minister since 2000 and has projected a tough guy image, has enjoyed the support of Russian Orthodox Church leader Patriarch Kirill who gave him his approval during the head of state’s presidential election campaign this year.
Patriarch Kirill is also a key figure in the controversial Pussy Riot trial.