MOSCOW — Vladimir Putin can add a new skill to his resume: reality TV star.

A new series launched Sunday evening on state television, focusing on the Russian leader’s weekly activities. The one-hour show, called “Moscow. Kremlin. Putin,” comes as Putin suffers one of his largest dips in popularity in years.

While Putin appears almost daily on state television, a show of this type is uncharted territory for the leader.

Putin is shown speaking to gifted teenagers about the inner workings of diplomacy in the program and also attending the funeral of crooner Iosif Kobzon, the Russian “Frank Sinatra” who died last week at age 80.

Viewers are also treated to never-before-seen footage of Putin’s vacation last month to Siberia. The 65-year-old leader is shown puffing up a mountain with a hiking staff, collecting wild berries in his chest pocket and watching wildlife as he mutters under his breath, “They’re not afraid of us.”

The show comes days before tens of thousands of Russians are expected to protest across the country at the Kremlin’s deeply unpopular pension restructuring.


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