MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian President Vladimir Putin showed his rarely seen musical side on Wednesday as he sang a brief excerpt from a Soviet-era space exploration song called ’14 minutes to the launch’ with students at Moscow State University.
Putin was visiting the university as part of Students’ Day in Russia when one student began playing a guitar.
Holding a microphone, Putin sang “On the dusty paths of distant planets, our tracks will remain,” drawing a round of applause from those in attendance.
The song was written in 1960 and became synonymous with Yuri Gagarin’s space journey in 1961. It was also performed in space a year later by Russian cosmonauts and remains popular with the public.
It is not the first time that Putin, a judo black belt better known for his macho posturing, has sung in public.
In 2010, when serving as Russian prime minister, he sang ‘Blueberry Hill’ at a children’s charity event after performing the opening notes on a piano.
(Writing by Patrick Johnston in LONDON; Editing by Gareth Jones)