Lavrov denies that Putin is seriously ill

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Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has denied reports that Russian President Vladimir Putin was seriously ill on Sunday as rumors about the leader’s health continue to spread.

Lavrov made the statement to French media TF1 on Sunday. Rumors about the Russian leader’s health have swirled since Russia began its invasion of Ukraine in late February.

“You know, President Putin appears in public every day. You can see him on the screens, read his speeches, listen to his speeches,” Lavrov said. “I don’t think sane people can discern any symptoms of illness in this man.”

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Lavrov’s statement comes after a recording allegedly revealed a Kremlin-aligned Russian oligarch saying Putin was gravely ill with “blood cancer”.

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The Kremlin has had to deny reports of Putin’s declining health several times this year. Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said in March that Putin’s mental and physical condition were both “normal”.

Although there is little concrete evidence that Putin’s health is deteriorating, an investigation by Russia’s Foreign Proekt found that the leader traveled regularly with an entourage of around 60 doctors and suffered from back pain.

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Putin, 69, has never publicly addressed his health rumours, but he has sought for years to portray himself as a sportsman and outdoor enthusiast.

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