NYTimes: Western-Style Gyms Are Catching On in Russia

“In the last three to five years, you see Russian businessmen who are in shape, who are drinking water,” Mr. Reznik said. “People have decided that they want to live longer.”

The country’s leaders have also promoted exercise. Vladimir V. Putin, the former president and now the prime minister, has been the country’s biggest fitness cheerleader. He has a black belt in judo and a fondness for swimming and skiing. Dmitri A. Medvedev, the current president, continues the drill; he skis and practices yoga.

O.K., Russia, Time to Work It. NYTimes, 2010.

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