Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is about to drive 2000km along the first ever trans-Siberian highway in one of the world's most-mocked cars.
He took the wheel of a brand-new Lada Kalina Sport and, accompanied by television cameras, set out on the grueling drive.
Mr.Putin will drive 2000km along a new highway that is the first-ever road to cross the remote wilderness between Siberia and Far Eastern Russia, previously only passable by rail or air. The road is due to open for traffic in September.
"This is a significant event for Russia, in a certain sense historic," Mr Putin said in comments published on his website, since Russia "has never in its history -- never! -- been fully linked up with highways."
Mr.Putin is about to jump into the brand new yellow Lada, the first to drive on the newely constructed highway