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Russia’s president Vladimir Putin did stunt work at the Lenfilm movie studio back in the 1970s, when he was a university student, his former colleagues said in comments that drew much media coverage across the country.
Putin performed on at least two WWII movies, 1972’s Izhora Batallion and 1974’s Blockade, Vasily Shestakov, president of the international Sambo combat sport federation, was quoted as saying by Russian network Dozhd.
“We were in Izhora Batallion and Blockade together,” said Shestakov, who is known as Putin’s sports club mate from years ago. “We were paid good money for that time. I was paid 110 rubles [a month] in my engineer’s job, but when I was working on movies, I made 75 rubles a day. That was a lot of money.”
Another former athlete, Nikolai Vashshilin, who went on to become a professional stuntman and then a stunt coordinator, confirmed to Dozhd that Putin did stunt work on movies.
He claimed to have a photograph featuring Putin on the set of a movie, but, because of its poor quality, it is hard to make out Putin for sure.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said he was not aware of Putin’s movie stunt work.
Working as movie extras was a common way of making extra cash for university students in Soviet times. Those with an athletic background were eligible for higher paid stunt work.
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