Cold front! Kremlin issues photos of Putin during his hunting break with loyal defence minister in Siberia in bid to ‘play down fresh rumours over his health’
By WILL STEWART
The Russian leader, 69 next month, is currently self-isolating due to a Covid-19 outbreak in his entourage and the photos were taken during the trip to the taiga earlier this month.
It has led to suggestions that the strongman, who is facing health rumours, could be lining up minister Sergey Shoigu as his successor.
Unusually, the images were only released around two-and-a-half weeks after they were filmed, amid suggestions of a ploy to counter the doubts about his health, with analysts claiming he needs to undergo surgery over a longstanding issue hidden from the Russian public.