Mar. 8 - Russia's Vladimir Putin; President Dmitry Medvedev ski together with former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi joining them in snow fun. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
(ROUGH CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: The two Russian leaders, outgoing President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, were skiing together on Thursday in Russian southern resort of Sochi, just days after Putin secured his landslide win in the presidential election marred by allegations of widespread fraud. At a meeting before the ski ride Medvedev congratulated Putin on his win, but it was all fun on the slopes with Putin in a red ski suit, Medvedev in a white one and other ordinary skiers riding downhill nearby. Medvedev and Putin posed for photos and congratulated women with the International Women's Day, a popular public holiday widely celebrated in Russia on Thursday. Putin said several times in the past that he would appoint Medvedev the prime minister upon assuming the presidential office, but many analysts predicted that might not be a foregone conclusion or Medvedev could serve only a short spell as a premier. The evening before Russia's ruling tandem hosted former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and took him to the slopes to enjoy Russian snowy winter. The three of them were happily chatting and hugging each other, while Berlusconi took Medvedev by his elbow while walking. Berlusconi resigned as prime minister in November as the euro zone crisis menaced Italy and kept a relatively low public profile in recent months. He still faces a series of trials linked to his Mediaset broadcasting empire and other issues including charges of paying for sex with an underage prostitute.