Russian President Vladimir Putin, the ex-KGB officer who is known for his poker face, revealed a different side of his personality at a recent, secretly taped government meeting.
During the meeting, an agitated Putin appears to threaten his cabinet ministers
because of the government's inability to implement his presidential election promises.
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"How are we working? The quality of work is extremely low." Putin tells them in the video, "If we're going to work like that then we'll achieve [nothing]."
Putin then threatens to sack cabinet members and regional leaders if they don't get their act together.
"If we don’t do this, we will have to admit that either I’m not working effectively, or you all are working badly and you all should leave," Putin said. "I want to draw your attention to the fact that today I am leaning towards the second option."
The edited video was filmed after journalists were ordered to turn their cameras off, the Christian Science Monitor reported.
The Russian news agency Lifenews.ru, an online tabloid that is generally considered Kremlin-friendly, aired the video Wednesday night.
Considering the source and the fact that the clip shows Putin in a somewhat positive light, some pundits have speculated that leaders might have sanctioned the pro-Kremlin outlet's recording.
Putin's press secretary, Dmitry Peskov, squashed the speculation, telling journalists this week that the Kremlin was furious over the leak.
"What was published from the closed part of the meeting is outrageous and unacceptable from an ethical point of view," Peskov said. "We plan in the near future to make contact with the leadership of the publication, to ask for an explanation."
Peskov also disputed that Russia's cabinet officials were present at the meeting. However, he did not say who the other people in the video were.
In addition to rarely revealing his emotions, Putin's personal life is kept under wraps
from the public eye.
Putin's wife, Lyudmila, is seldom seen in public and the whereabouts of his two adult daughters is unknown. Putin's daughters are reportedly attending college under pseudonyms, The New York Times reported.
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