‘Don’t you leave us’: Rumours about Putin’s health swirl after cryptic post

In recent months, speculation has been rife about the health of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Various reports, some by intelligence agencies, have suggested that Putin (70) may be battling serious ailments, including cancer and Parkinson’s disease. These rumors have been fueled by observations of Putin appearing unsteady and bloated in public appearances.

Now, a recent post on a Russian Telegram channel by ‘Z-blogger’ Pozdnyakov has reignited chatter about Putin’s health. The post, accompanied by a picture of Putin, reads: “God, don’t you leave us. Pray to God you are alive and healthy.”

This has initiated a series of discussions across social media platforms about the Russian premier’s well-being. However, no official statement has been made by the Russian government regarding this matter.

Anton Gerashchenko, advisor to the Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, added fuel to the fire with a pithy poser on X (formerly Twitter): “What is going on?”

Rumours about Putin’s deteriorating health have routinely made headlines, especially in the wake of his war with Ukraine. According to Spanish news outlet Marca and a report by Newsweek in June 2022, it is believed that the Russian leader underwent treatment for advanced cancer in April 2022. However, these claims remain unverified and unsubstantiated.

The Kremlin has consistently denied these rumours. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov dismissed the cancer rumors as “fiction and falsehood” in April 2023. Similarly, CIA Director William J Burns stated in July 2023 that, as far as the agency could tell, Putin was “entirely too healthy.”

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