Moscow: The Kremlin has dismissed as “ridiculous deception” the rumors that Russian President Vladimir Putin had a heart attack on Sunday evening and that he has been using a body double for his public appearances. The rumors were based on an unverified report from a Telegram channel called ‘General SVR’, which claimed to have insider information from the Russian intelligence service.
According to the report, Putin was found lying on the floor of his bedroom at around 9 p.m. on Sunday, with his eyes rolling and his table overturned. He had allegedly suffered a cardiac arrest and had to be resuscitated by doctors in a special room in his residence. The report also suggested that all recent events involving Putin were carried out by his double and that his inner circle was preparing for his possible death in the coming days.
However, Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Monday that the president was in good health and that the report was “completely wrong”. He said that Putin had a busy schedule and had recently visited China and two Russian cities after returning from the trip. He also laughed off the idea that Putin had a body double, saying that it was “a ridiculous deception”.
Putin, who turned 71 on October 7, has been the subject of various health speculations in the past, ranging from cancer to Parkinson’s disease. However, the Kremlin has always maintained that he is fit and healthy. Putin is expected to run for a fifth term in the presidential election in 2024.