A severe wave of influenza has broken out in the Kremlin. There is speculation that Vladimir Putin will therefore be hiding until the new year – possibly in a bunker. The Russian President is known for always worrying about his health.
In recent days, the Russian President has canceled both his traditional annual press conference and his annual address to the Russian Federation Assembly. In view of the difficulties and losses suffered by Russian troops in Ukraine, many experts, including the Institute for the Study of War, say that Putin does not want to go public.
But Putin’s absence could have another reason: a flu epidemic recently broke out in the Kremlin. This is reported by the European news agency Novaya Gazeta and the Russian news agency TASS. According to the information, the H1N1 flu strain will hit Russia hard this year.
Now it is speculated that Putin wants to stay away from people until the end of the year. Many officials who are otherwise present at the federation meeting have contracted the flu. He could possibly even spend New Year’s Eve in the bunker, according to the British portal “Metro”.
The portal relies on reports from the Russian foreign intelligence service SVR. Their Telegram channel says that Putin and his alleged partner Alina Kabaeva want to spend New Year’s Eve in a bunker east of the Ural Mountains. Annually at midnight, Putin broadcasts a recorded New Year’s message to all Russians.
Putin is known to be notoriously obsessed with health issues. During the pandemic, for example, he only met with heads of state and government at a meter-long table and forced them to carry out numerous PCR tests. His own health is a big state secret – rumors range from cancer to secret hospital stays to large teams of doctors who are supposed to travel with him.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov gave no reason why Putin’s press conference should be canceled this year. Several Russian media therefore claim that it has to do with the Russian President’s health problems.