Thousands of Russians are in great uproar because of the announced partial mobilization. They fear being called up as reservists or that their male relatives will have to go to war. And while his citizens worry, President Vladimir Putin takes a vacation.

At least that’s what the Russian journalist Farida Rustamova reports, citing three sources from Putin’s circles. Accordingly, the announcement by the President on September 21 was a record. After that, the head of the Kremlin made an appointment at a school and attended a concert in Veliky Novgorod. Afterwards he is said to have jetted towards vacation – to Valdai, a place between Moscow and St. Petersburg. There Putin will relax in a property for a week.

There is no official confirmation from the Kremlin. And it looks like the President is still away on business. Recordings of a meeting between Putin and Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko were published last Thursday. However, according to Rustamova, this would have taken place a few days earlier. On the same day, the Russian autocrat then called the heads of government of Turkmenistan and Saudi Arabia, according to the Kremlin.

On Friday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov justified Putin’s absence from a concert in support of Russian soldiers on the same day as stressful appointments. A stay in Valdai is not the reason, according to Peskow. This Monday, footage of Putin’s appointment with the Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko in Sochi was released. But this also happened earlier, according to Rustamova. In fact, the Kremlin chief would have recorded several meetings in the run-up to his vacation to give the appearance of presence.

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