In a whirlwind of rumors and speculations, the Kremlin has firmly denied reports of President Vladimir Putin suffering a heart attack over the weekend. Unverified claims had surfaced, suggesting that the Russian leader had collapsed in his bedroom due to a cardiac arrest on Sunday. Visuals shared online further fueled the fire, showing Putin with ‘scars on his neck’ during a public event.
The controversy surrounding Putin’s health has been a recurring theme ever since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine more than a year ago. Sharp-eyed netizens have pointed out ‘uncontrollable’ tremors during public appearances, sparking theories of ‘body doubles‘ and more. In April, British publication Metro alleged that the Russian President was grappling with ‘severe head pain, blurred vision, and tongue numbness.’
The genesis of these latest claims can be traced back to a Kremlin-tracking Telegram channel, which then gained traction in various news publications. The Mirror reported that Putin had to be ‘resuscitated’ after a heart attack on Sunday, and Express UK raised concerns about the President needing intensive care within his official residence.
Kremlin Strikes Back
However, the Kremlin was swift in its response. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, in a statement to reporters, emphatically dismissed the allegations, stating, “Everything is fine with him; this is absolutely another fake.” In a tone of apparent disbelief, he laughed off claims of Putin using a body double as ‘absurd,’ emphasizing that these rumors have persisted for some time. Putin himself had previously addressed these rumors in a 2020 interview, where he acknowledged the offer of using a body double for security reasons but firmly denied utilizing one.
Peskov went on to say, “This belongs to the category of absurd information hoaxes that a whole series of media discuss with enviable tenacity. This evokes nothing but a smile.”
Putin’s Unwavering Schedule
Meanwhile, despite the swirling controversy, Putin has continued with his intensive schedule of meetings and public appearances throughout the week. He is set to meet with Russian religious leaders on Wednesday, exemplifying his determination to carry on with his duties.
In a political landscape fraught with tension and speculation, Putin’s health remains a topic of interest and intrigue, with the Kremlin consistently quashing any rumors or doubts that arise.