Unverified reports emerged yesterday suggesting that Russian President Vladimir Putin died at his residence in Valdai. The claim, disseminated by the Telegram channel General SVR, stated, “Russian President Vladimir Putin died this evening at his residence in Valdai at 20:42 Moscow time, doctors stopped resuscitation and pronounced death." According to these reports, medical professionals attending to Putin were allegedly detained in the room with his body, under the directive of Dmitry Kochnev, who purportedly received instructions from Nikolai Patrushev, the Secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation.
However, the Kremlin has categorically denied these allegations.
Behind the Rumors
The General SVR Telegram channel has been a long-standing critic and commentator on Russian politics. In the past, the channel has claimed that President Putin was suffering from a terminal illness, specifically cancer.
Adding more fuel to the fire, the same channel also hinted at an ongoing "coup" in Russia and bolstered its claims by stating that security details for Putin's alleged body double had been heightened. While the sources of such information remain shadowy, they do pose a significant challenge in today's digital age, where unverified news can gain traction rapidly.
What was also notable was the mention of Dmitry Kochnev, the director of the Federal Guard Service, allegedly orchestrating the detainment of doctors in Putin’s residence.
Reacting to the swirling rumors, Putin's spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, rebuffed the claims in a statement to state media RIA Novosti, calling the report from the "absurd news channel." He further remarked, "These (kinds of stories) belong to the category of fake news, discussed with enviable tenacity by a number of media outlets.
This brings nothing but a smile (in the Kremlin)." Earlier in the week, Peskov had also refuted suggestions that Putin suffered a heart attack and dismissed the notion that the Russian leader was employing a body double.
While the authenticity of the claims remains under question, such instances underline the challenges posed by the rapid spread of unverified information in the digital age, even more so when they concern global leaders. As the world waits for clarity, it's imperative to approach such information with caution and skepticism.