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Оказывается, этим вопросом озаботились…

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..Не только на Украине..

Я об этом.

Мир, читающий CNN, тоже переживает.

(CNN) Vladimir Putin is not a self-effacing man. That’s why when the Russian president suddenly disappeared from view people took notice. When Russian officials tried to trick the public by passing off old photos as new appearances, speculation about Putin’s whereabouts went viral.

Hashtags such as #Whereisputin and #ПутинУмер — Russian for #PutinIsDead — became the tip of a giant social media iceberg, much of it streaked with dark humor.

In Ukraine, the neighboring state besieged by Putin’s forces, someone reportedly left a large funeral wreath at the gate of the Russian embassy. A handwritten message addressed Putin with an expletive, telling him, “Thank you for croaking.”

The fast-moving iceberg of speculation may melt as fast as it emerged. The Kremlin has now started pushing harder against the rumors, trying to prove that Russia’s foremost — nay, only — major political leader, is alive and well. Early on Friday, officials released what they said was a picture of Putin taken the day of. But on social media, onlookers accused officials of dusting off old images. Those keeping track insist Putin has not been seen since March 5.

Regardless of how or when this speculation ends, it tells us much about the political realities of Russia.

This whole thing started after Putin’s trip to Kazakhstan was canceled on Wednesday and a Kazakh official told a reporter that the Russian President had fallen ill. Then the Kremlin released a picture of Putin speaking with the leader of the Republic of Karelia. But it turns out that happened on March 4.

On Thursday, Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said the President would miss his regular meeting with the Federal Security Service (FSB). When asked about his boss’s health, Peskov said he is “absolutely healthy,” his handshake so strong he could “break your hand.” To illustrate the point, the Kremlin’s Russia Today posted a picture of the mighty President slamming a judo opponent hard against the ground. Peskov says Russia is in the grips of a “spring fever” that is causing people to dream up harebrained scenarios.

Amateur sleuths and creative minds have speculated wildly about Putin’s health problems. The Swiss magazine Blick said Putin is in Lugano, where his girlfriend just gave birth to their baby. Some have said he has cancer; others report a heart attack or a stroke. There are even suggestions that he went off to join ISIS, or is playing hide-and-seek a la Where’s Waldo.

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