Vladimir Putin marks Russian Christmas by firing cannons

Vladimir Putin marks Russian Christmas by firing cannons

Press Association

Vladimir Putin has marked Christmas in Russia with an exertion – by firing a very large weapon.

Under the Russian Orthodox liturgical calendar, Christmas is observed on 7 January.

During a visit to his home town of St. Petersburg, the Russian president visited the Petropavlovsky fortress on the banks of the river Neva and took the lever over the howitzer, which fires a welcome pace every day.

Vladimir Putin is preparing to shoot a fortification cannon at the Peter and Paul Fortress in Saint Petersburg (Alexei Druzhinin, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool photo via AP)

Vladimir Putin is preparing to shoot a fortification cannon at the Peter and Paul Fortress in Saint Petersburg (Alexei Druzhinin, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool photo via AP)

The afternoon shot is a tradition since 1865.

Mr Putin's steely image was in full force for the event – bare-headed in the winter cold, he seemed only to wriggle back a bit when the cannon roared and then turned away with a skinny smile.

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