The Russian president was confronted by a topless protester with an obscene slogan insulting Mr Putin painted on her back - and, he admitted, he “liked” it.
Mr Putin was with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at at a trade fair in Hanover when the woman tried to push her way through to an amused-looking Mr Putin, but was blocked by aides. Her back was painted with an obscene slogan in Cyrillic script directed against the Russian president.
The activist was with two other women who also stripped to the waist and shouted slogans calling the Russian leader a “dictator”.
The women appeared to be members of the feminist group Femen, which has staged topless protests against the sex industry and religious institutions.
Speaking at a press conference afterwards, Mr Putin said: “As for the protest, I liked it. In principle, we knew that such a protest was being prepared.”