Update: Rumours around Putin’s death are now circulating: Unconfirmed Rumours Putin Is Dead
Kazakhstan’s officials have told reporters that President Putin postponed a visit to the central Asian country on Wednesday, because he had fallen ill.
He was also missing from the annual meeting of high-ranking officers, from the Federal Security Service on Thursday, which he usually attends.
He was last seen with prime minister Matteo Renzi of Italy a week ago thursday.
The Russian president was also seen at a gathering with a group of women for International Women’s Day on March 8. It is reported that the meeting actually took place three days earlier.
His lack of public appearances in recent days have sparked rumours about a possible health problem.
The president’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, told reporters that his boss was alright and healthy and conducting meetings in private.
Asked if the president’s handshake was strong, he told the Ekho Moskvy radio station: “He’s breaking hands. There’s no need to worry,” Mr Peskov added. “Everything is fine.”
It is not the first time that questions have been asked about Mr Putin’s health. In late 2012, he was seen limping and then cancelled or postponed a series of foreign trips leading to speculation that he was unable to withstand long flights.
Some Russian media suggested that Mr Putin had aggravated an old back injury when he flew a motorised hang glider to guide a group of Siberian Cranes hatched in captivity toward their southern wintering grounds.
But Dmitry Medvedev, Russia’s prime minister, said the president, who is a judo black belt and plays ice hockey, had suffered a minor sports injury.
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