Russia rejects speculation that Putin is ill and uses body doubles

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The Kremlin on Tuesday rejected speculation about President Vladimir Putin’s health, saying he was fit and well.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, in a regular call with reporters, also denied suggestions that the president was using body doubles, calling that an “absurd hoax”.

Reporters asked Peskov about Putin’s health following an unsourced report by a Russian Telegram channel, picked up by some Western media, that the president had suffered a serious health episode on Sunday evening.

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Putin, a judo enthusiast who has long cultivated an “action man” image, turned 71 on Oct. 7. He maintains an intensive schedule of meetings and public appearances, many of them televised.

His recent program included a visit to China last week, with stop-offs in two Russian cities on the way back.

In a 2020 interview, Putin denied longstanding rumours that he uses body doubles, although he said he had been offered the chance to use one in the past for security reasons.

In April this year, Peskov said talk of body doubles was “yet another lie” and that Putin was in enviable health.

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