The Kremlin’s attempts to assure the public that Vladimir Putin is alive and well and still running Russia’s government did not go particularly well on Friday. Media outlets were presented with a tape of President Putin meeting with a senior government official – with no evidence of the date of the meeting. The Kremlin had previously issued photographs found to be several days old – causing more suspicion.
Making things even stranger, Russian TV station Rossiya 24 aired a live report of Putin’s meeting with Kyrgyzstan President Almazbek Atambayev, though the meeting is not scheduled to occur until Monday.
The outlet reported on the meeting in the past tense, according to Ukraine Today, saying of the two leaders, “They talked about cooperation in investment and humanitarian spheres and the energy sector. They also discussed the possibility of Kyrgyzstan joining the Eurasian Union.”
The British Broadcasting Corporation’s Russian language outlet contacted Rossiya 24 about the incident and was told, “An error had occurred.”
Meanwhile, numerous reports began to surface Friday afternoon that key journalists in Moscow had been told to expect a major announcement from the Kremlin over the weekend. Some reports suggested the announcement would be made by Putin, while others simply said it would come from the Kremlin.
The report about the pending announcement could not be independently verified. There was no such notice on the Kremlin Press Office’s English-language website.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has consistently told reporters President Putin is in good health and working his normal schedule.
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