Unhealthy? Putin was enjoying hockey on the weekend, says Kremlin | World Information

Vladimir Putin was “enjoying hockey” on the weekend, the Kremlin has mentioned, dismissing rumours the Russian president could also be affected by a secret medical sickness.

Barely a day has handed with out recent hypothesis concerning the well being and welfare of the Russian chief since his nation’s invasion of Ukraine.

Ukraine information reside: First Russian vessel destroyed by West’s harpoon missile

His spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Monday informed NBC Information: “I can let you know one factor that yesterday, I do know, within the afternoon, really he performed hockey. It is about yesterday, he was enjoying hockey, after which take into consideration his well being by your self.”

Vladimir Putin throughout a pleasant ice hockey sport in Strelna, Russia, in December 2021

Observers have speculated about how the Russian chief has regarded throughout conferences – together with whether or not he’s limping, shaking at occasions, gripping the desk in ache – or that he has a puffy face which might present proof of steroid use, and even botox on account of being famously useless.

Mr Peskov has referred to as the rumours concerning the president’s well being ridiculous and denied a number of occasions that he is terminally sick, as has been advised in some experiences.

Pressed by NBC Information senior worldwide correspondent Keir Simmons to deal with the rumours as soon as and for all, Mr Putin’s spokesman additionally pointed to the president’s prolonged speech on the St Petersburg Worldwide Financial Discussion board final week to dispel widespread hypothesis about his well being.

He mentioned Mr Putin spoke for three-and-a-half hours, earlier than participating in a panel dialogue.

“Simply assume, if an unhealthy man can carry out like that,” he mentioned.

Vladimir Putin giving  a speech during the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) in Saint Petersburg, Russia, on Friday
The Russian president giving a speech in the course of the St Petersburg Worldwide Financial Discussion board (SPIEF) in St Petersburg, Russia, on Friday

With the conflict now in its seventeenth week, Russian assaults have largely been centered on japanese Ukraine with the declared intention of “liberating” the Luhansk and Donetsk areas which collectively make up the Donbas.

Russian-backed separatists management a part of the areas and the Russian president needs them totally in pro-Russian palms.

If his forces seize Severodonetsk, it might give Moscow management of the entire of Luhansk – and can be his greatest victory within the invasion to this point.

Ukraine map

Giving an replace from a pocket of resistance that has held again the broader Russian offensive within the Donbas, Serhiy Hayday, the Luhansk governor, mentioned Russian forces managed most of Severodonetsk, aside from the Azot chemical plant, the place greater than 500 civilians, together with 38 youngsters, have been sheltering for weeks.

The highway connecting Severodonetsk and Lysychansk to town of Bakhmut was underneath fixed shell hearth, he added.

Rodion Miroshnik, an official within the self-styled separatist administration of the Luhansk Folks’s Republic mentioned on Telegram: “The hours to come back ought to carry appreciable adjustments to the steadiness of forces within the space.”

However in keeping with British intelligence, Ukrainian forces have hit again at Russia within the Black Sea.

President Putin’s navy has been “largely neutralised” by Ukrainian coastal defences in its capability to manage a swathe of the Black Sea, the UK’s Ministry of Defence mentioned.

“Ukrainian forces claimed their first profitable use of Western-donated Harpoon anti-ship missiles to have interaction Russian maritime forces,” it mentioned in its newest Twitter replace.

“The goal of the assault was virtually actually the Russian naval tug Spasatel Vasily Bekh, which was delivering weapons and personnel to Snake Island within the north-western Black Sea.

Russian naval tugboat Vasiliy Bekh pictured in the Bosphorus, on its way to the Black Sea, in Istanbul, Turkey, on 7 January 2022
Russian naval tugboat Vasiliy Bekh pictured within the Bosphorus, on its method to the Black Sea, in Istanbul, Turkey, on 7 January 2022

“The destruction of the Russian vessel on a resupply mission demonstrates the issue Russia faces when trying to assist their forces occupying Snake Island.

“That is the newest in a collection of Russian vessels, together with the cruiser Moskva, to be broken or destroyed by Ukraine in the course of the battle.”

The US and its European allies have offered weapons and monetary help to Ukraine however averted direct involvement within the battle.

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