Russian President Vladimir Putin still is not around.
He hasn’t been seen in public since March 5, and the world is buzzing with conspiracy theories big and small. Putin is usually not one to hide in the shadows, frequently pushing himself into the spotlight. The story recently has been very different.
The latest theory circulating on Sunday is that Putin has the flu. Gawker has cited an unnamed CIA source saying that is the case.
NBC News also said Sunday morning on the “Today Show,” that unnamed US officials told them as well that Putin has the flu.
Adding to the growing list of voices is Russian TV News channel Dozhd. They say they have Kremlin sources that also say Putin has the flu. And they have expanded on that to note that the Russian President is allegedly in his home on Lake Valdai in the Novgorod region.
Last week, Putin canceled with close ally Kazakhstan, and a Kazakh government official told Reuters: “The visit has been cancelled. It looks like he (Putin) has fallen ill.”
Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Dozhd he would not comment on the Russian president’s health.
We may get some answers on Monday. The Kremlin is preparing for an event in Moscow, ostensibly to celebrate the first anniversary of the annexation of Crimea from Ukraine. And on Friday, the Kremlin stated that Putin will meet Kyrgyzstan President Almazbek Atambayev in Saint-Petersburg on Monday, March 16.
Oddly, on Friday, Russian state TV outlet Rossiya 24 reported the Putin-Atambayev meeting as if it already happened.
This is Putin’s longest absence since the early 2000s, and other rumours have swirled about a coup underway, that Putin suffered a stroke, and even that he traveled to Switzerland where his girlfriend was having a baby.
The Kremlin has denied all of the theories.
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