The cranes were raised at the Kushevat ornithological station/sanctuary and had to be shown the route to wintering grounds. Kushevat is near the city of Salerkhard, which is located close to the Arctic circle.
After the cranes were released, however, only one of them followed the flying leader.
Putin later explained that there was a strong wind and that the machine flew so fast the birds couldn't keep up.
The second flight was more successful, with five birds in tow, although after two circles only two were able to keep pace, flying for 15 minutes.
“I liked this program,” Putin said, adding that he had become interested and bought a motorized hang glider with his own money and will later hand it over to the scientists.
“I advise everyone to try it,” he said.
Where's the beak?