Spring is just around the corner, and bromance is in the air.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and action movie star Steven Seagal have joined forces, using their collective machismo and star power to improve the overall health of Russia's children, two-thirds of whom, Putin claims, suffer from chronic illnesses by the age of 14.
And we thought Kim Jong Un and Dennis Rodman were unlikely bedfellows...
According to the Christian Science Monitor, the two recently opened a Moscow martial arts center together, a launch which coincided with Mr. Putin's announcement to reinstate a Soviet-era mass sports program designed to make Russian youngsters more healthy, active, and fit for military service.
"The revival of this system – in a new, modern format – could bring major benefits.... Children should become strong, they should be healthy, love sports and have an opportunity to practice them, should know how to defend themselves, their loved ones, their family. Ultimately, they should be able to defend their motherland," he said, according to a transcript published on the Kremlin's official website.
The inclusion of Seagal in Pootie-Poot's physical fitness revival plan is a typical Putin flourish that, while unlikely to carry much political significance, is sure to pack a big PR punch — for even though Seagal's box-office appeal has somewhat declined from his halcyon blockbusters of the mid-'90s, he continues to have a very loyal international fan base and remains a highly bankable star.
So whether you're an avid fan of the pony-tailed peronsality or the Kremlin commander, there is no doubt that when you combine Putin's flare for Soviet era nostalgia with Seagal's undeniable international star power, you've got yourself one kick-ass combination.
And just for kicks, here's a highlight reel featuring the best of Seagal: