Russian Prime Minister 'Frolics' With Snow Leopard

What does Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin do when he isn't busy shooting whales with crossbows, putting out forest wildfires, and murdering journalists? Why, "frolicking" with snow leopards, of course!

Putin took a quick detour on a trip in Russia's Far East to have a playdate with a new feline friend, "Mongol," a snow leopard rescued from poachers. "Russia's paramount leader," Reuters advises us, "has been cultivating a softer side as a passionate animal lover of late," which is a good way to counterbalance the whole "corrupt murderous nationalist autocrat" thing.

The snow leopard, of course, is the official mascot of the 2012 Sochi Winter Olympics—you can see the sassy character design above—thanks in to Putin's endorsement. (Dmitry Medvedev, technically Russia's head of state and commander in chief, apparently wanted a bear to be the mascot.)

[Reuters; image via AP]