Russian President Vladimir Putin reportedly killed a grizzly bear using only his hands today while trying to save a group of babies and pregnant women from attack.
According to state-owned television network Rossiya 1, the heroic incident took place in the Siberian city of Irkutsk, where Putin was attending a meeting of regional governors.
After the event ended the attendees left the hotel and headed for their limousines. Off in the distance, however, Putin could make out a bus full of new and expectant mothers stranded in a field.
As they cried for help, a giant deadly bear closed in on the group and tried to enter the broken-down bus.
'"When I saw the bear approach, I knew what needed to be done," explains Putin. "I don't allow such lawlessness in my country."
Russia for the Russians
Witnesses say Putin first tried to reason with the bear, offering it one last chance to leave the area unharmed. However, the bear's ferocious attacks against the bus continued.
In the space of 30 seconds Putin then overpowered the bear with the "force of a thousand men," flattening it on its back and then snapping its neck.
Their ordeal finally over, the women on the bus cheered at the sight of Putin delivering the final blow. There were no reported injuries or deaths, although one woman was treated for shock.
"Once the bear was neutralized, I repaired the bus's engine and drove the women and children to their destination," Putin says. "Everyone in Mother Russia has the right to live free of fear."
National news reports have labelled Putin a "hero" and a "savior" and spontaneous pro-Putin rallies have sprung up in Russian cities nationwide, praising his latest act of noblesse oblige.
Putin himself, however, remains modest about the incident, saying he was just doing what anyone would do in his situation.
"I try not to get emotional about things like this," he insists. "I am a leader. As far as I'm concerned this is all just part of the job."
Putin has effectively led Russia, as either president or prime minister, since 1999. He is widely considered to be an autocrat in the West, and is facing increasing calls for democracy at home.