Boos and jeers are hardly the sort of reception you would expect for Russia’s most popular politician.
And Vladimir Putin is not known to have faced such heckling before.
But, as he stepped into the ring and took the microphone at a martial arts event in Moscow, the prime minister struggled to make himself heard.
Broadcast live on Russian TV, the scene has become a huge hit on YouTube.
“Putin’s image-makers will most likely effectively neutralise the spreading of information about alleged Putin booing,” said political analyst Alexei Mukhin. “But the Internet is not under the Kremlin’s control. That is why freedom of opinion and freedom of delusion are quite vivid there.”
Putin supporters said the boos were, in fact, for the American opponent of Russian fighter Fedor Emelianenko. However critics claim that Putin-fatigue has set in, with the veteran leader poised for a return to the presidency.