During a meeting with members of the government, Russian President Vladimir Putin asked Alexander Kozlov, head of the Ministry of Natural Resources, several times how old the ice was in Antarctica.

The figure of 1.2 million years surprised the head of state. The curious moment occurred during a discussion of the activities of the Russian Vostok station in Antarctica.

Kozlov announced that “Last year, from a depth of more than 3.5 kilometers, thanks to the work carried out by our Mining University since the 70s, scientists recovered a core [a cylindrical sample] of ice about 1,200,000 years old.”

Putin immediately interrupted, Kozlov's report who was surprised when the President asked: “Alexander Alexandrovich, if this core is 1,200,000 years old, it means that there was ice on this spot for 1,200,000 years, right? Or what?”

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“Yes, Vladimir Vladimirovich, that's absolutely right,” Kozlov replied, and immediately went on to explain how Russia intends to use the results of this research as part of the global discussion on climate change.

However, Putin was keen to learn more about the formation and age of such ice.

“Maybe that water froze not 1,200,000 years ago, but closer to us? Is this possible?” Putin asked again.

But he did not receive the more detailed answer he was seeking from Kozlov who replied: “Vladimir Vladimirovich, this is atmospheric ice. So far, science says that it is, as I said the first time.”.

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Media noticed that the mock-up of the C929 long-range wide-body airliner displayed at the Farnborough International Air Show by COMAC had dropped visible references to Russia’s involvement.

“All right, all right,” the president now seemed resigned that he would learn no more and moved on to discuss financing the Antarctic station project.

This situation resulted in a wave of jokes, questions, and bewilderment among commentators that associated questions about ice with the recent rumors concerning Putin’s “death” and claims his body was being kept in a freezer.

A comment on the video by “Victor Z” suggested that Putin was so interested in finding find out the age of the ice for his personal use in the future.

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“So, if ice can last for 1,200,000 years, maybe I can do it too?”

Petr Altunin asked: “Maybe he decided to move there from the refrigerator?”

Polina Lebedeva said "Just needs a new one for the fridge"

Even more pointedly, someone called Thumbelina said “Well, Putin is an expert on freezing now, after all, it's been in the refrigerator for 2 weeks)))

Some users joked that it might not have been Vladimir Putin who was asking the question, but his double:

A post by Text stated “The man is new, so he's interested in everything, and goes into details. Why are you bothering?”

The discussion on the age of the ice in Antarctica took place at a meeting with members of the Kremlin government, where they discussed the debt burden on Russians, tax deductions for sports, cultural heritage sites, and the fight against cancer.

This led Muratov Anatoly to comment: “How clever our President is! No one can fool him, he knows everything, even that ice is frozen water!”

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