Published On: Thu, Mar 12th, 2015

Vladimir Putin Joins Ali Khmenei on List of World Leaders Who Are Doing Just Fine

BBC's Panorama investigative journalist John Sweeney tweeted 4 hours ago: "How unwell is Vladimir #Putin? Manflu or life-changing stroke? Who is going to ask?"


The Kremlin insisted on Thursday that Russian President Vladimir Putin is alive and well, despite those persistent rumors that he has been suffering from an illness, Ruters reported. The rumors started after Putin had cancelled a visit to neighboring Kazakhstan, which a Kazakh government official described to Reuters as: “It looks like he has fallen ill.”

But Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, insisting the presidnet was well, told Reuters: “He has meetings all the time, he has meetings today, tomorrow. I don’t know which ones we will make public.”

According to the Russian press, Putin has not been seen live on TV since his meeting with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi March 5. But then the Kremlin website showed photographs of Putin in meetings on March 10 and March 11.

Needless to say, those were not moving pictures.

BBC’s Panorama investigative journalist John Sweeney tweeted 4 hours ago: “How unwell is Vladimir #Putin? Manflu or life-changing stroke? Who is going to ask?”

“We know three things, ” wrote the political blog Geopolitical Diary: “First, the cancellations were odd. Second, the insistence that he was not ill was also odd. Third, the Kremlin did nothing to allay concerns about Putin’s status. The Russians had to know that they were not allaying concerns; denying that he was ill but giving no alternative explanation for the cancellations seemed strange as well.”

The blogger, who seems to know a thing or two about Kremlinology, continues: “The insistence that Putin was not ill might be intended, along with other evidence, as a signal that he is quite ill. Or it might be pointing to the fact that Putin is really not ill and is canceling meetings for political reasons.”

Meanwhile, as this story is being written, Thursday afternoon, the Armenian press agency Armenpress reported that “the President of the Republic of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan today held a telephone conversation with the President Vladimir Putin of the Russian Federation.

“As part of issues concerning bilateral collaboration, Presidents Serzh Sargsyan and Vladimir Putin reflected especially upon the peaceful atom and oil and gas sectors.

“During the phone conversation, the two heads of state coordinated the schedule of their upcoming meetings to ensure joint participation in the events marking both the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide and the 70th anniversary of the Victory in the Great Patriotic War.”

The only thing missing from the Armenpress story is something about how, during the conversation, Sargsyan commented how not-dead Putin sounded, and how really healthy and robust.


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