Mar. 9 - Russian leader Vladimir Putin shot a rifle as part of a visit with biathlon athletes during a championship tournament in Sochi. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION STORY: Russian Prime Minister and President-elect Vladimir Putin showed off his shooting skills from a prone position during a biathlon tournament on Friday (March 9), brandishing his macho image just days after winning a third presidential term on Sunday (March 4). Wearing sunglasses and a bright red coat inscribed with "V.V. Putin" and Russia's double-headed eagle coat of arms, Putin congratulated athletes at Russia's paralympic biathlon championship before taking a few shots himself. Framed by a hood of fur, Russia's 59-year-old leader lay down in the snow to take aim with a special rifle near the Black Sea resort of Sochi due to host the 2014 Winter Olympics. State news agencies said Putin, who won nearly two thirds of the vote in a presidential election, hit three out of five targets during his first try. But Putin then improved to hit four out of five targets at 50 meters (164 ft) when he shot a special rifle for visually impaired people which makes a noise when aimed correctly. Putin dined with Italy's former premier, Silvio Berlusconi, and President Dmitry Medvedev in a ski resort near Sochi on Wednesday (March 7). Italian media said Berlusconi flew to Russia to congratulate Putin on the election, which international vote monitors say was skewed in Putin's favor.