Missing: One Russian President: Likes judo, bare chested horse back riding and attempting to intimidate the western world.
And just like that he is back. After 10 days of rumours about where Russian President Vladimir Putin has been the man responsible for tough anti-gay laws and the rise of extreme homophobia in Russia has reappeared.Overnight video of the international man of mystery appeared, a glowing Russian President meeting at Konstantinovsky Palace in St Petersburg with Almazbek Atambayev, the president of Kyrgyzstan.
Being the Russian President he decided not to actually answer any questions about his 10 way whereabouts – instead saying “It would be boring without the gossip.”
President Atambayev told the media that there was nothing wrong with Mr Putin’s health. “Vladimir Vladimirovich just drove me around the grounds,” he told the media “He was behind the wheel himself.”
So he can drive, but where has he been?
Mr Putin had not been seen in public since a press conference a week and a half ago with the Italian Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi. His 10-day absence promoted worldwide speculation about whether he was sick, dead, a victim of botched plastic surgery, or meeting a love child in Italy.
It began last Wednesday when the President cancelled a summit he had been due to attend in Astana, Kazakhstan.His spokesman was forced to deny claims that his boss was sick. Instead Dmitry Peskov said that Mr Putin’s health was still so good his handshake “breaks hands”.
Peskov told Russian media that Putin simply had a busy schedule of meetings, not all of which are public, but that his health is “all right”.
The presidential website published photographs of Mr Putin holding meeting in the Kremlin, but no one believed them –local media reporting that the meetings had actually happened the week before.
And thus it began. The rumour mill began to spin.
On Friday, Russian television channels showed Putin speaking to the president of the Supreme Court but there was no way that footage was new; it was weeks old said the whispers.
So where was he?
Dead?Social media used the hashtag v #ПутинУмер (“Putin is dead”) speculating that the “very robust” Russian president was robust no longer.
Botched cosmetic surgery?
Did the President under go the knife.. and was all not well? He’s been there before. The Independent reports that in 2010, he arrived at a press conference in Ukraine with heavy make-up over what appeared to be dark bruising around his left eye.