The president, who has a long history of getting stuck in with dangerous animals and outdoor adventure, is set to join scientists in a glider to help release a group of endangered Siberian cranes – only 3,000 remain in the wild.

Putin will take the lead with birds as they’re released into the wild and set off on migration in a project called Flight of Hope. The rare cranes need help finding the right way to fly towards Central Asia, since they were bred in captivity as part of an effort to increase the numbers of the endangered species.

“The president will get to try himself in the role of the leader of a flock of cranes that were raised in captivity,” said Russian newspaper Vedomosti.

Putin is in need of some positive PR following the recent Pussy Riot court case and mass protests by angry Russians crying foul play, claiming that he rigged the last election.

Macho conservation publicity stunts in the past have involved Putin shooting a tiger with a tranquiliser gun, fitting a polar bear with an electronic tracking collar, shooting a crossbow at a grey whale to get a skin sample, as well as getting back to nature on holiday riding a horse shirtless (see main image, via Getty)