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 Putin to the Rescue! Russian President Saves the Cranes on a Glider. PHOTO + VIDEO

Russian President Vladimir Putin took part in the Flight of Hope experiment aimed at saving the rare great white crane.

Putin made three flight in a motorized glider that the birds take for their leader, reports RIA Novosti.

After the cranes were let out of the cages and flew for the first time, only one crane followed the glider.

After the event Putin explained that there was a strong wind and the glider was too fast for the birds.

The second flight was successful - five birds tailed the aircraft. And even though only two stayed after several laps, they flew for another 15 minutes, confidently catching the airwaves.

Putin also told the press that he was learning to operate the glider for a year and a half in order to take part in the project. He also added that he purchased the aircraft for his own money.

The Flight of Hope project involves a follow through of the crane birdlings from the nesting sites in Yamalo-Nenetsk through Siberia and Kazakhstan to South of Uzbekistan where the first in the world alternative wintering ground is being created.

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