Stephen Colbert
Stephen Colbert has regularly criticised Donald Trump on The Late Show Youtube/The Late Show With Stephen Colbert

Stephen Colbert has left the comfortable confines of the Ed Sullivan Theatre in New York City where he hosts The Late Show for the damp and cold air of Russia. According to some accounts, the late night show host was in Vladimir Putin's country as a guest on a local show.

Ivan Urgant, host of the Evening Urgant show, shared a photo with Colbert on his Instagram account on 22 June and according to one CBS spokesperson, he was "on assignment for a future broadcast".

The 53-year-old is making good use of his Russia trip and has turned it into a mission for the US president himself.

Donald Trump tweeted a message on Thursday clarifying that he "did not make, and do not have" tapes or recordings of his conversations with former FBI director James Comey. Responding to the tweet, Colbert shared a photo of him strolling past The Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg while assuring the Potus that he would make it his mission to find the proof if it was in Russia.

"Don't worry, Mr. President. I'm in Russia. If the "tapes" exist, I'll bring you back a copy!" he wrote.

CBS did not disclose when Colbert is set to return and repeats of earlier The Late Show episodes were slotted for Thursday and Friday. A new episode is expected to air on Monday, 26 June, so we can expect him to return behind his desk by then.

More TV personalities are finding themselves on flights to the world's largest country in the wake of allegations that Trump's team colluded with Russia during the 2016 presidential elections. Earlier this month, Megyn Kelly visited Moscow for an interview with Putin, prior to which director Oliver Stone spent time next to the Russian president for his Showtime documentary series The Putin Interviews.

Colbert's former fellow Daily Show correspondent and current host of Last Week Tonight, John Oliver, checked into Russia in 2015 to engage in a face-to-face conversation with NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden.