Kremlin Dismisses Rumors About Vladimir Putin's Health

October 24, 2023

Why Putin's health and activities are bound to attract global attention and curiosity
ussian President Vladimir Putin (rear) meets with President of Kabardino-Balkaria Kazbek Valeryevich Kokov (front) in Moscow, Russia on October 23, 2023. Photo by Anadolu Images.


peculations regarding the health of Russian President Vladimir Putin have recently intensified, fueled by unsourced reports and rumors on various platforms, including the Telegram channel General SVR. Amidst the rampant speculations, the Kremlin has come forward to categorically dismiss these reports and clarify the president’s health status.

The recent wave of rumors gained traction when a Russian Telegram channel alluded to a serious health episode that Putin allegedly experienced on a Sunday evening. This unverified information was quickly picked up by global media outlets, leading to sensationalized headlines suggesting that the 71-year-old Russian leader suffered a cardiac arrest and had to be resuscitated. Such reports, while attracting worldwide attention, have been met with skepticism due to their lack of concrete evidence and credible sources.

Further intensifying the speculations, General SVR, the aforementioned Telegram channel, has been at the forefront of circulating stories about Putin’s health. Some of the channel’s claims have bordered on the implausible, including allegations that Putin experienced convulsions, had an assassination attempt in Moscow, and was scheduled for emergency surgery in 2022. These reports, however, have consistently been presented without substantial evidence or reliable sources to back them.

Reacting to the whirlwind of rumors, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov took a firm stance, dismissing all such speculations. In a recent press conference, Peskov emphasized the president’s robust health, stating, “President Putin is fit and well.” Addressing the body double rumor specifically, he described it as an “absurd hoax,” adding that such claims evoke nothing but amusement in official circles.

The body double narrative is not new. Back in a 2020 interview, Putin himself confronted these rumors. While he categorically denied employing body doubles, he acknowledged that there had been offers in the past to use one for security reasons. Peskov reiterated this sentiment in April 2023, dismissing talks of Putin using body doubles as “yet another lie.”

Amidst the uncertainty stirred by these speculations, Putin’s active schedule and public appearances provide a contrasting narrative. Known for his vibrant “action man” image, Putin recently celebrated his 71st birthday on October 7. Contrary to suggestions of ill health, he maintains a demanding calendar filled with public meetings, international visits, and official events. Notably, Putin made a significant visit to China recently, coupled with stops in two other Russian cities, showcasing his active participation in international and domestic affairs.

Historically, Putin’s health has always been a subject of intrigue, drawing attention from both domestic and international communities. This curiosity is in part due to the traditionally secretive nature of the Kremlin, which often leaves room for speculations to fester. Over the years, there have been various claims and conjectures about Putin’s health, some even suggesting severe ailments. In 2022, a classified U.S. report indicated that Putin underwent treatment for advanced cancer. Another investigative report by the independent Russian media outlet Proekt Media proposed that Putin might have received medical surgeries between 2016 to 2019.

However, these claims, like many others, often lack concrete evidence and verification, leading many to question their authenticity. In response to the cardiac arrest claims, Peskov stated, “Everything is fine with him, this is another canard, absolutely.”

In conclusion, while the health and activities of world leaders like Putin are bound to attract global attention and curiosity, it’s imperative to approach such topics with a critical mind, distinguishing between verified information and uncorroborated rumors. The Kremlin’s recent clarifications emphasize that Putin remains active in his presidential duties, and official statements consistently challenge and deny health and body double rumors.

Sources: The Straits Times, Newsweek and The Telegraph

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