Russian President Vladimir Putin, pictured between August 1 and 3, 2017, goes shirtless on vacation. Getty Images

Images emerged from Russian President Vladimir Putin's vacation in the remote Tuva region in southern Siberia that all showed the leader shirtless as he enjoyed the summer sun. The images have since spurred what's being referred to as the #PutinShirtlessChallenge.

Several Russians chose to honor the presidential figure by sharing their own shirtless pictures to social media. According to The Guardian, Pavel Durov — who founded social media websites like Telegram — was the first person to initiate the trend on Instagram.

"My Instagram had to seriously step up the game to keep up with the increased competition from Mr. Putin’s shirtless photos," Durov wrote Monday. "If you’re Russian, you have to join #PutinShirtlessChallenge (or face oblivion). Two rules from Putin – no photoshop, no pumping. Otherwise you’re not an alpha."

Durov's image received over 48,000 likes and counting and led fellow Instagram users to share their support in the comments section of his picture. One user suggested that Durov's #PutinShirtlessChallenge was a "great idea."

Keeping Durov's two rules in mind, thousands of people took part in the Putin-inspired challenge that has since made waves on Instagram. Men, women and children in Russia and other countries joined in on the fun.

Fellow Russian politician Dmitry Gudkov showed support for the trending movement. He took to Instagram to share his photo, saying, "We must support, I believe."

One man inspired by Durov's initiative wrote, "Well, it's your time! Pavel Durov offered [a] flashmob."

Like this user, others — men and women included — took the #PutinShirtlessChallenege as an opportunity to show off their toned abs.


Сегодня у меня сюжет #putinshirtlesschallenge #reporter #tv #jajaja #lol #news

A post shared by Nikolay Sokolov (@sokolovnikolaytv) on

Other men chose to display shirtless photos of Putin alongside their own.

One man used the trend to promote a different cause: a photoshoot taken for women's literary magazine "Sovjonok."

"Forgive me, opponents of half-naked selfies in social bonds, I tried to cope with myself, but I could not take advantage of the opportunity and not participate in the flash mob #PutinShirtlessChallenge," one user wrote in their Instagram post's caption. "In fact, it is, of course, a photo-session for the women's literary magazine Sovjonok, and I just wanted to say with this double feyspalm that a bare torso is still not enough to be a successful president of the country."

A Texas-based man decided to keep the photo "classy" for his wife and posed with his dog alongside him. He took to Twitter to share his photo, saying, "I was prepared to go above @darov #PutinShirtlessChallenge but my wife made me put my pants back on. Stay classy she said."

Putin, 64, has been known to take photographs that showcase his machismo, as it has reportedly helped to boost his popularity amongst Russian citizens.

The Russian leader headed to Siberia days after he announced that 755 American diplomats would be forced out of the country, according to Slate. Pictures from the trip — which occurred between August 1 and August 3 — show Putin swimming in the Siberian lake, sunbathing, hiking, snorkeling, riding a horse topless and embarking upon a successful fishing venture. He was joined by Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu.

"The water in the lake doesn't get warmer than 17 degrees, but this didn't stop the president from going for a swim," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Friday, according to Reuters. "He went hunting underwater with a mask and snorkel. The president chased after one pike for two hours, there was no way he could shoot it, but in the end, he got what he wanted."