Russian President Vladimir Putin took part in the Epiphany bathing ritual on Lake Seliger in the Tver region, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.
Having completed the work program in St. Petersburg and the region, Putin went to the Tver region, where he visited the Nilo-Stolobenskaya Monastery and took part in the ritual, when Orthodox believers bathe in ice cold water.
"On the occasion of the holiday of Epiphany, Putin visited parts of the church service, and also participated in the Epiphany dip on Lake Seliger," Peskov told reporters.
This year, there is no traditional Epiphany cold in Central Russia, when temperatures fall below 15 degrees Centigrade. On January 18, it was about -7C at night.
For President Putin, this is not the first Epiphany dip experience. He has been taking part in the bathing ritual for years, but this is the first time when he has done that in public, in front of cameras, Dmitry Peskov added.
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969