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Vladimir Putin visited with a shepherd during his short recreation in Tuva

Premier-minister of RF, Vladimir Putin took a rare one-day vacation and spent it in Tuva, where he rafted down a river and became acquainted with the life of herders. The head of the government came to Tuva from Irkutsk, where he dived in a deep-water apparatus “Mir-1” in Lake Baikal, gave an ecologic conference, and had a meeting with the governor of the region.

The Premier spent Sunday evening and Monday in a tent camp on the shores of river Khemchik. He rafted several times down the river in an inflatable rubber raft.

The Premier also visited with Andrei Subbotnyi, a senior scientific employee of Severtsev Institute of Problems of Ecology and Evolution of the RAN, who works in the program of study and protection of snow leopards, which was initiated by Putin in 2007. The scientist reported in detail about the progress of the program.

Beside that, he showed new photographs taken by photo-traps, which were established in the areas frequented by snow leopards. Putin rafted down Khemchik to its confluence with Yenisei. At one of the stops in a deserted mountain area, the Premier noticed a herd of sheep being led by a local shepherd. Putin invited him to drink some tea. In response, the shepherd proposed that the premier visit his home. When Putin agreed, the shepherd went home and after a while returned with his son and a horse for the Premier.

The head of the government got to see the shepherd’s modest dwelling. The shepherd, who displayed maximum of hospitality, introduced his two daughters to the Premier. Regardless of the fact that the shepherd was not able to express himself fully in Russian and spoke mostly in Tuvan, he and the Premier managed to break through the language barrier. In memory of the visit, Putin gave his watch, which he took off of his wrist, to the shepherd’s son, and to the hospitable shepherd he gave his own hunting knife.

In the evening, Putin was joined by the head of Republic Tuva, the chairman of the government of the republic, Sholban Kara-ool.

Remember that Vladimir Putin first came to Tuva in August 2007. He spent a vacation in the republic in the company of the Prince of Monaco Albert II. During that visit, he had a working meeting with the Chairman of the Government of the republic, and the President congratulated the citizens of the republic to their national holiday – Naadym. Putin’s impressions from the three-day visit were so strong that already after his departure, at press-conferences in Bishkek and Chelyabinsk region , he admitted to journalists: “I have been to many places and have seen many things, but I have never seen such magnificent nature anywhere else!”

In August of last year, Vladimir Putin also made a short stop in Tuva on the way to the Olympics in Beijing. As RIA Novosti informs, today Putin is going back to work – he is leaving for Orenburg. The plans are to hold a conference chaired by the Premier-Minister, which will evaluate in detail the situation in regions of Russia where significant proportions of harvest have been destroyed by drought., ITAR-TASS, RIA Novosti - translated by Heda Jindrak
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