World leaders attending the G-7 summit in Germany sat on a high horse on Sunday as they joked about infamous images of Russian President Vladimir Putin rising on horseback while shirtless. Chief among the mockers were British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
“Jackets on? Jackets off? Shall we take our clothes off?” Johnson asked as the leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the European Union were gathering to get an official photo of their G-7 luncheon. Trudeau joked that he and the leaders were “going to get the bare chested horseback riding display,” referencing 2009 images of a shirtless Putin riding a horse, according to the Daily Mail.
“We have to show that we’re tougher than Putin,” Johnson said.
Johnson could be heard on footage saying, “We’ve got to show them our pecs.” European Union President Ursula von der Leyen added that “horseback riding is the best.”
President Joe Biden was among the leaders attending the lunch but did not appear to join in mocking Putin. He is meeting with the G-7 leaders in Germany to discuss proposals for increasing pressure on Russia to stop its war in Ukraine and rising inflation before traveling to Spain for a NATO leader’s summit.
The G-7 meeting comes just after Russian forces hit Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital, with missile strikes on Sunday.
Ukraine ordered the remainder of its troops to withdraw from Severodonetsk, a key eastern city, on Friday after weeks of Russian bombardment. The city, which had approximately 100,000 people before the war, served as an administrative center for the Luhansk region and has been a focal point in the war for weeks.