The Kremlin says Putin is healthy, and ridicules rumors about his body double

Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting with Security Council members via video link at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia on October 20, 2023. Sputnik/Gavriil Grigorov/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo Obtaining licensing rights

MOSCOW (Reuters) – The Kremlin on Tuesday denied a report that President Vladimir Putin was ill and ridiculed persistent rumors that he had used body doubles to cover him in public appearances.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in response to a question about a report, without mentioning a source, broadcast by a Russian channel on the Telegram application, and picked up by some Western media outlets, stating that the president suffered a serious health attack on Sunday evening, “Everything is fine with him. This is a completely different lie.” . .

The speaker laughed in response to another question about homosexuals, and denied that Putin had any.

“This belongs to the category of ridiculous information hoaxes that are discussed by a whole series of media outlets with enviable persistence. This only causes a smile,” Peskov said.

Putin, a judo enthusiast who has long cultivated the image of an “action man,” turns 71 on October 7. He maintains an intense schedule of meetings and public appearances, many of which are broadcast on television.

His latest program included a visit to China last week, with stops in two Russian cities on the way back.

In a 2020 interview, Putin denied long-standing rumors that he uses body doubles, although he said he had been offered the opportunity to use one in the past for security reasons.

Reporting by Reuters Writing by Mark Trevelyan Editing by Gareth Jones

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