Putin Investigates Shipwreck in His Latest Adventure

September 29, 2013

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. exploit [EK-sploit] (n.) – an exciting or spirited action
Example: The adventurer’s exploits led him to the hidden treasure of Yamashita.
2. well-preserved [WEL-pri-ZURVD] (adj.) – kept or maintained in a good state or condition
Example: The treasures were well-preserved despite being in the sea for a long time.

3. staged [steyjd] (adj.) – set-up or rehearsed beforehand
Example: Many people felt that the unpopular president’s rescue of a little girl was staged to help him win back the approval of the nation.

4. tranquilize [TRANG-kwuh-lahyz] (v.) – to make an animal or a person sleep or become very relaxed by using a drug
Example: The veterinarian tranquilized the lion to be able to easily treat his wounded leg.

5. ridicule [RID-i-kyool] (n.) – comments or actions that make fun of someone
Example: The prime minister earned a lot of ridicule when he failed to support his political claims.


Read the text below.

Russia's president and the so called "action man" Vladimir Putin has recently publicized the latest addition to his manly exploits.

Putin has already done many different extreme and interesting activities in the past years. In fact, the very active president had already tried firing darts at a gray whale, taking a supersonic flight in a bomber jet, and racing in an F1 car through St. Petersburg.

In his latest stunt, Putin plunged to the bottom of the Baltic sea aboard a submersible to examine a sunken vessel in the Gulf of Finland.

His latest pursuit was broadcasted on state television. It showed the leader climbing aboard the Sea Explorer 5 underwater research vessel. The submersible explored the wooden wreck called Oleg for 30 minutes.

The president praised the Russian Geographic Society, the group who has been exploring the shipwreck discovered by divers in 2003, for keeping the vessel well-preserved through the years.

Putin is known to promote himself as a strong and bold adventurer, much to his own embarrassment.

In 2009, he also boarded a mini submarine to explore the depths of Lake Baikal. In 2011, he claimed to have discovered two ancient urns in his scuba diving adventure in the Black Sea, but Kremlin later admitted that this stunt was staged.

And in 2012, during a research expedition, environmentalists accused him of tranquilizing not a wild tiger as publicized but one from the zoo. Last year, he was nicknamed "alpha-crane" after flying a plane to lead rare birds during migration.

Because of the president's fake stunts, he earned some ridicule especially from the online community.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you think it is appropriate for a head of state to engage in thrill-seeking adventures like what Putin is doing? Why or why not?
·         What do you think are the reasons why Putin engages in different kinds of adventures? Please explain your answer.

Discussion B

·         What do you think are the characteristics of a good president? Please explain your answer.
·         Are there advantages if the president of the country is physically strong or fit? Please explain your answer.


September 29, 2013