During a closely watched appearance on Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin appeared a little under-the-weather.
His meeting with Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev came after an unusually long, unexplained absence from public view.
Many reporters were present for his planned meeting with Atambayev. An AFP correspondent said Putin looked “somewhat pale,” and a reporter for Bloomberg News in Moscow described Putin as “puffy, sniffling, [and] sweating somewhat.”
The Associated Press, however, reports that Putin looked healthy at the meeting.
In press photos, Putin does appear a bit sickly:
The meeting came after Putin canceled several other scheduled events last week, leading to conspiracy theories about where he might be. Putin was last seen in public at a news conference on March 5.
Rumours claimed Putin died, was on paternity leave, had cosmetic surgery, or was seriously ill. Some speculated that a coup was underway. But it’s possible that we’ll never know the reason behind Putin’s unusual absence.
In response to the rumours about his absence, Putin reportedly said that “it’d be boring without gossip.”
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