Russia Speaks As Vladimir Putin Reportedly Rumoured To Have Died Of Cancer Yesterday
The Kremlin tonight issued an extraordinary denial that Vladimir Putin had died today at his Valdai residence north of Moscow.
A report of his death was published by Telegram channel General SVR which has long claimed the Russian dictator has suffered from cancer and was terminally ill. The channel also alleged that a “coup” was underway in Russia as 71-year-old Putin’s entourage sought to pass off his body double as the real president.
Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov told state media RIA Novosti that the report was an “absurd information canard”. Earlier this week he had strongly denied Putin suffered a heart attack last weekend, and said reports the Russian president used a doppelgänger were false.
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One theory is that the channel is funded by figures once close to Putin who have lost ground, and that the false report is evidence of an intense power struggle as Russia struggles in its war in Ukraine. There are claims that elements of the GRU military intelligence may be involved.
The full report from General SVR read: “Attention! There is currently an attempted coup in Russia! Russian President Vladimir Putin died this evening at his residence in Valdai. At 20.42 Moscow time, doctors stopped resuscitation and pronounced death.
“Now the doctors are blocked in the room with Putin’s corpse, they are being held by members of the presidential security service on the personal orders of Dmitry Kochnev [director of the Federal Guard Service], who is in touch and receives instructions from the Secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation Nikolai Patrushev. Security for the president’s double has been beefed up. Active negotiations are underway. Any attempt to pass off a double as the president after Putin’s death is a coup.”
Patrushev, 72, is secretary of Russia’s powerful Security Council, and Putin’s top intelligence advisor. General SVR has claimed he is in pole position to succeed the president but may wish power for his son, agriculture minister Dmitry Patrushev, 46.
The channel has claimed for months that Putin was ill and replaced by actors trained by the security services who underwent plastic surgery to look like the dictator. The same theory has been espoused by Valery Solovey, a former professor at Moscow’s prestigious Institute of International Relations [MGIMO], a training academy for spies and diplomats.
He said recently: “The fact is that the current President Vladimir Putin is living out the last days of his earthly life.” The head of Ukrainian military intelligence Lt-Gen Kyrylo Budanov has alleged the real Putin has not been seen since June 2022.
“The one, who everyone used to know, was last seen around 26 June 2022,” he said last month. A recent Japanese TV report used AI to analyse Putin’s face, walk and voice in multiple appearances, and concluded that he does use one and perhaps two body doubles. I can tell you there are no doubles when it comes to work and so on,” said spokesman Peskov earlier this week.
Specifically on the heart problems, Peskov said: “He is well – this is no more than just another canard.” The spokesman said: “These [kinds of stories] belong to the category of fake news, discussed with enviable tenacity by a number of media outlets. This brings nothing but a smile [in the Kremlin].”
In April, Peskov admitted that reports were rife about Putin’s doppelgängers but claimed the warmonger was “mega-active”.
“Perhaps you had heard that Putin has multiple doubles, who work instead of him while he is sitting inside a bunker,” he said. “This is yet more lies. This is one more lie. You see our president. He is just as he used to be – mega-active.”
The channel is supposedly run by a former Kremlin lieutenant-general, known by the alias Viktor Mikhailovich. It claims Putin’s top apparatchiks and security henchmen control the activities of the doppelgängers.
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