On Tuesday, the Kremlin issued a response to reports that Russian President Vladimir Putin suffered a serious medical episode this week, denying that the nation’s president underwent cardiac arrest and was found convulsing on the floor of his bedroom.
Multiple sources reported on a Monday Telegram post by a group known as General SVR, which claimed to have classified intelligence on Putin’s health. They claimed that on Sunday evening Putin had collapsed in his bedroom.
The group has repeatedly claimed that Putin is terminally ill and had even alleged that his recent media appearances were carried out by body doubles.
“Everything is fine with him, this is absolutely another fake,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on a Russian Telegram channel in reference to the reports, adding that claims that Putin has used a body double have done nothing but made him “smile,” according to Reuters.
“This belongs to the category of absurd information hoaxes that a whole series of media discuss with enviable tenacity,” he said. “This evokes nothing but a smile.”
Putin’s health has been a topic of hot debate since the 2022 invasion of Ukraine. Rumors of physical and mental ailments plaguing the Russian president have been swirling around Russian and Ukrainian circles.
Russian officials have hotly denied all claims that Putin is suffering any ailments whatsoever, and contested a report, also from General SVR, last winter that Putin had fallen down a flight of stairs and soiled himself.
However, nothing has been confirmed, and the 71-year-old president appears to still be alive and well.
In February, an intelligence expert said he believed that reports of Putin’s death are likely nothing more than “wishful thinking.”
“I’m deeply skeptical that Putin has some health problems likely to lead to his imminent death or incapacitation,” said Mark Galeotti of the London-based consultant firm Mayak Intelligence. “There is a great deal of rumor, propaganda and wishful thinking in play.”
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