Macron brutally mocked after sharing photo of sweaty punchbag workout | World | News


has been savaged on social media after sharing pictures of him working out with a punchbag – with some cynics even suggesting snaps had been “digitally enhanced”.

The French President, who has stepped up his strident rhetoric in recent days, and who last month suggested troops could be deployed in Ukraine, may be trying to send a signal to Russian President Vladimir Putin with the macho photograph, posted on Instagram.

However, it was not long before the word Rocky began to trend on social media.

One X user was sceptical, calling themselves @subversifperrin, posted the picture alongside another of a barechested and significantly less pumped-up Macron, commenting: “Liberty, equality, Photoshop.”

Others suggested he was spoiling for a fight with 71-year-old Mr Putin, who has not been averse to appearing bare-chested in staged photo opportunities in the past.

Referring to the Princess of Wales, who recently admitted to having tinkered with a photograph of her family shared for Mother’s Day, Benjamin Cauchy added: “Neither the art of War, nor the art of communication.

“Was it Kate who played with Photoshop again?”

Not everyone was so scathing, however. Speaking to the French newspaper Nice-Matin, public relations adviser Gaspard Gantzer said Marcon wanted the pictures to show “he is a Frenchman like any other … that he is in great physical shape … that he wants to fight.”

Broadcaster CNews observed: “In the two photos, we see the head of state ready to fight, his gaze fixed on the punching bag.

“As if he was determined to beat his opponents.

“The drawn features, the bulging muscles, the clenched teeth, the president looks like a true warrior.”

Mr Macron’s wife Brigette has said the 5ft 7 inch 46-year-old does boxing training twice a week.

Speaking a week ago, Mr Macron warned Western powers against showing any signs of weakness to Russia as he once again refused to rule out deployed troops in Ukraine.

In an interview on French national television TF1 and France 2, Macron was pressed about the idea, which he previously floated last month in comments which prompted pushback from other European leaders who emphasised that they had no plans to do so.

Mr Macron said: “We’re not in that situation today” but added that “all these options are possible.”

Mr Macron, the commander-in-chief of the country’s armed forces, declined to describe in which situation France would be ready to send troops.

He said the responsibility for prompting such a move would lie with Moscow – “It wouldn’t be us” – and said France would not lead an offensive into Ukraine against Russia.

However, he added: “Today, to have peace in Ukraine, we must not be weak.”

Mr Macron described the RussiaUkraine war as “existential” to France and Europe.

He warned: “If war was to spread to Europe, it would be Russia’s sole choice and sole responsibility.

“But for us to decide today to be weak, to decide today that we would not respond, is being defeated already. And I don’t want that.”

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