The former editor-in-chief of Bild has met the Russian president six times.
Kai Dieckmann, former editor-in-chief of the major German newspaper Bild, recounts his meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin in his recent book Ich war Bild (Finnish: I Was Bild).
Diekmann served as editor-in-chief of Bild between 2001 and 2015. Diekmann says he first met Putin in 2001, after Putin had been elected president of Russia for about a year.
Diekmann says that Putin posed for photographers in his modest-looking office and jokingly suggested that he might pose lying on a table.
– He really had a great charm. There was something like a schoolboy about him, recalls Diekmann, according to The Times.
According to Diekmann, the new president was friendly and cautious and did not seem eccentric at all.
According to Diekmann, Putin took the editor-in-chief water-skiing, played hockey with him, and invited him to lavish banquets. Although Putin said he follows the O diet, which divides foods into alkaline, acidic and neutral foods, Diekmann claims.
Diekmann tells of a memorable meeting in Sochi. At that time, Putin asked at the end of the meeting whether the editor-in-chief would like to go swimming. Diekmann says he replied that he usually does not bring swimming trunks to interviews with heads of state.
“No problem,” Putin said, according to Diekmann, and led the editor-in-chief to a bench where several small Speedo swimming trunks stood and began to undress.
– You can borrow from me, Diekmann claims the president said.
Especially in Germany, there has been widespread discussion about the country’s relations with Russia and, for example, the gas pipeline projects undertaken during the previous administration have been viewed critically due to the war in Ukraine initiated by Russia. Is.
Diekmann says he believes Putin initially wanted Russia to be part of Europe and defends Germany’s close cooperation with Russia over the years.