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Putin made Italian PM vomit after carving a deer’s heart

The late Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi (left) and Russian leader Vladimir Putin (right).
Marco Ravagli/Future Publishing via Getty Images; Contributor via Getty Images

  • Silvio Berlusconi went on a hunting trip with Vladimir Putin in 2013, according to Italian media.
  • During the trip, Putin slaughtered and carved a deer heart which he gave to the late Berlusconi.
  • The sight of raw meat was simply too much for Silvio Berlusconi, who went to throw up behind a tree.

Russian leader Vladimir Putin once gave late Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi a deer heart that he carved himself, a former Italian senator said Sunday.

Fabrizio Cicchitto, a former member of Berlusconi’s Forza Italia party, told Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera that Berlusconi told him about the experience after his 2013 visit to Russia.

Berlusconi, Cicchitto said, was accompanying Putin on a hunting trip in the Russian countryside when Putin spotted a pair of deer. After shooting the deer, Putin told Berlusconi he would prepare an extraordinary meal with them, according to Cicchitto’s account.

According to Cicchitto, Putin cut open the deer’s body with a hunting knife. Putin then tore out the deer’s heart himself and offered it to Berlusconi.

But the sight of the crude organ was simply too much for Berlusconi, who, according to Cicchitto, retreated behind a tree to vomit.

Berlusconi might have balked at Putin’s culinary offering, but the former Italian prime minister shared a close relationship with Putin.

Months after Russia invaded Ukraine, Berlusconi defended Putin and said Putin was simply trying to “replace Zelensky’s government with a government of honest people.”

And when Berlusconi died in June 2023, Putin was quick to offer his condolences.

“For me, Silvio was a dear person, a true friend,” Putin said of Silvio Berlusconi. “His death is an irreparable loss and a great sadness.”

Although Cicchitto’s account may seem bizarre, it appears to be consistent with Putin’s penchant for cultivating a macho strongman image. Putin’s tales of machismo also prove useful at a time when the Russian leader needs to demonstrate strength — in the midst of a years-long war that has exhausted Russian resources, in which the United States has now committed 61 billion more dollars to help Ukraine. continue the fight.

The Russian leader has been involved in many extravagant photo shoots over the years, where he has been seen doing judo moves and riding horses shirtless.

In fact, eating a deer’s heart probably isn’t that strange when you consider what else Putin has done with animals, according to previous accounts.

In April 2022, Russian investigative media outlet Proekt reported that Putin was taking baths with blood extracted from cut deer antlers as a form of alternative medicine.

Representatives of the Russian Foreign Ministry did not immediately respond to a BI request for comment sent outside normal business hours.