Well we know Naomi likes her Russian billionaires and for the March issue of British GQ she interviews former Russian President and current Prime Minister Vladimir Putin as well as grace the cover of the magazine. Some excerpts form the interview:
What’s your fitness regime?
I go to the gym, I swim daily and from time to time I meet with friends and do extra-curricular stuff. I had a good work-out just the day before yesterday.
I’ve seen the picture of you doing the butterfly stroke and, since I’ve been living in Russia, I noticed most people here swim the butterfly. I can’t swim the butterfly, but I was just in the Dead Sea in Jordan and it was the first time I floated in my whole life.
You can swim any way you like in the Dead Sea, actually. But I was swimming butterfly because the water was cold. It was one of the famous Siberian rivers and the water was something like 16˚C. My idea was to get out of the water as soon as possible.
You go for extreme sports like bareback riding, white-water rafting, motor racing, skiing, hunting. Is it a thrill, or just showing off? You must have had injuries.
Back in my student days, I broke a finger when I was mucking about during exercise, but I’ve been lucky recently.
In the summer you were photographed on a Harley-Davidson at a bikers’ festival in Ukraine. How were you received by the bikers, the Night Wolves?
Well, these are really cool guys, really tough guys. One of them was a really courageous person who travelled a few thousand kilometres on a two-wheeler bike. He’s a handicapped guy with only one leg – he lost it somewhere in Yugoslavia during the war. I’m not the tough guy, those guys are.
You obviously make a great impression on women. How do you feel about the students who posed for you in the calendar? [Female students at Moscow State University in Russia produced rival calendars for Putin’s 58th birthday. First,a group of journalism students in lingerie posed for a calendar with suggestive captions, such as: “You put out forest fires, but I’m still burning.” Then another group hit back, posing in black, with their mouths taped shut.]
I like the girls a lot, they’re beautiful. I like the calendar but it’s not the most important thing. As for the other one, well, in almost any country, probably in Russia in particular, it’s fashionable to criticise people in power. If you come out in support of someone like me, you’re going to be accused of trying to ingratiate yourself. The girls in the erotic calendar were courageous and they were not scared. As student journalists, they couldn’t fail to understand what might have been said to them after doing this. Nonetheless, they were not deterred and did the calendar anyway. So, frankly, that’s what I liked the most.