News

Putin’s Anti-COVID Self-Preservation Bunker Is a Bust

MOSCOW—Russians have been gossiping about Vladimir Putin’s health from the very start of the pandemic—and the Kremlin has always dismissed the flood of rumors as “absolute nonsense.” But on Monday, Putin struck a different tone as the president admitted that the latest COVID-19 surge is threatening his own inner “circle,” and that he may have to quarantine as a result.

Speaking at a public event at the Kremlin, Putin said: “The problems with COVID-19 have even occurred even in my circle. We need to figure out what is really going on. I think I will soon have to quarantine. A lot of people are ill around me.” The president did not specify who in his circle had been infected.
https://vocus.cc/article/61405d29fd89780001c94ebd
https://www.deviantart.com/lyselsua66/journal/Crackstreams-Atalanta-vs-Villarreal-Live-Stream-891846301
https://www.deviantart.com/sinyt57/journal/Game-Sevilla-vs-RB-Salzburg-Live-Stream-Free-891841711
https://www.deviantart.com/sinyt57/journal/WatCh-Sevilla-vs-RB-Salzburg-Live-Stream-Free-891841771
https://www.deviantart.com/sinyt57/journal/Live-Sevilla-vs-RB-Salzburg-Live-Stream-Reddit-891841853
https://www.deviantart.com/sinyt57/journal/Crackstreams-Sevilla-vs-RB-Salzburg-Live-Stream-891841911
https://www.deviantart.com/sinyt57/journal/FREE-Young-Boys-vs-Man-United-Live-Stream-Reddit-891842501
https://www.deviantart.com/sinyt57/journal/Crackstreams-Young-Boys-vs-Man-United-Live-891842531
https://www.deviantart.com/sinyt57/journal/Live-Young-Boys-vs-Man-United-Live-Stream-Reddit-891842581
https://www.deviantart.com/sinyt57/journal/WatCh-Man-United-vs-Young-Boys-Live-Stream-Free-891842629
https://www.deviantart.com/sinyt57/journal/Game-Man-United-vs-Young-Boys-Live-Stream-Free-891842656
https://www.deviantart.com/sinyt57/journal/FREE-Man-United-vs-Young-Boys-Live-Stream-Reddit-891842700
https://www.deviantart.com/sinyt57/journal/Game-Barcelona-vs-Bayern-Live-Stream-Free-Reddit-891842955
https://www.deviantart.com/sinyt57/journal/WatCh-Barcelona-vs-Bayern-Live-Stream-Free-Reddit-891842986
https://www.deviantart.com/sinyt57/journal/Live-Barcelona-vs-Bayern-Live-Stream-Reddit-Free-891843012
https://www.deviantart.com/sinyt57/journal/FREE-Barcelona-vs-Bayern-Live-Stream-Reddit-On-Tv-891843036
https://www.deviantart.com/sinyt57/journal/Crackstreams-Barcelona-vs-Bayern-Live-Stream-891843066
https://www.deviantart.com/sinyt57/journal/LIVE-FREE-FC-Barcelona-vs-FC-Bayern-Live-Stream-891843112
https://www.deviantart.com/ysemm52/journal/LIVE-FREE-FC-Bayern-vs-FC-Barcelona-Live-Stream-891843377
https://www.deviantart.com/ysemm52/journal/Game-Bayern-vs-Barcelona-Live-Stream-Free-Reddit-891843415
https://www.deviantart.com/ysemm52/journal/WatCh-Bayern-vs-Barcelona-Live-Stream-Free-Reddit-891843454
https://www.deviantart.com/ysemm52/journal/Live-Bayern-vs-Barcelona-Live-Stream-Reddit-Free-891843480
https://www.deviantart.com/ysemm52/journal/FREE-Bayern-vs-Barcelona-Live-Stream-Reddit-On-Tv-891843503
https://www.deviantart.com/ysemm52/journal/Crackstreams-Bayern-vs-Barcelona-Live-Stream-891843538
https://www.deviantart.com/ysemm52/journal/Game-Chelsea-vs-Zenit-Live-Stream-Free-Reddit-891843864
https://www.deviantart.com/ysemm52/journal/WatCh-Chelsea-vs-Zenit-Live-Stream-Free-Reddit-891843895
https://www.deviantart.com/ysemm52/journal/Live-Chelsea-vs-Zenit-Live-Stream-Reddit-Free-TV-891843907
https://www.deviantart.com/ysemm52/journal/FREE-Chelsea-vs-Zenit-Live-Stream-Reddit-On-Tv-891843926
https://www.deviantart.com/ysemm52/journal/Live-Zenit-vs-Chelsea-Live-Stream-Reddit-Free-891843967
https://www.deviantart.com/ysemm52/journal/Game-Zenit-vs-Chelsea-Live-Stream-Free-Reddit-891844003
https://www.deviantart.com/ysemm52/journal/WatCh-Zenit-vs-Chelsea-Live-Stream-Free-Reddit-891844019
https://www.deviantart.com/ysemm52/journal/Crackstreams-Zenit-vs-Chelsea-Live-Stream-Reddit-891844048
https://www.deviantart.com/lyselsua66/journal/Game-Dynamo-Kyiv-vs-Benfica-Live-Stream-Free-891844527
https://www.deviantart.com/lyselsua66/journal/WatCh-Dynamo-Kyiv-vs-Benfica-Live-Stream-Free-891844573
https://www.deviantart.com/lyselsua66/journal/Live-Dynamo-Kyiv-vs-Benfica-Live-Stream-Reddit-891844639
https://www.deviantart.com/lyselsua66/journal/FREE-Benfica-vs-Dynamo-Kyiv-Live-Stream-Reddit-891844677
https://www.deviantart.com/lyselsua66/journal/Live-Benfica-vs-Dynamo-Kyiv-Live-Stream-Reddit-891844707
https://www.deviantart.com/lyselsua66/journal/Crackstreams-Benfica-vs-Dynamo-Kyiv-Live-Stream-891844749
https://www.deviantart.com/lyselsua66/journal/Game-Lille-vs-Wolfsburg-Live-Stream-Free-Reddit-891844997
https://www.deviantart.com/lyselsua66/journal/WatCh-Lille-vs-Wolfsburg-Live-Stream-Free-Reddit-891845052
https://www.deviantart.com/lyselsua66/journal/Live-Lille-vs-Wolfsburg-Live-Stream-Reddit-Free-891845088
https://www.deviantart.com/lyselsua66/journal/FREE-Lille-vs-Wolfsburg-Live-Stream-Reddit-On-Tv-891845114
https://www.deviantart.com/lyselsua66/journal/Crackstreams-Lille-vs-Wolfsburg-Live-Stream-891845128
https://www.deviantart.com/lyselsua66/journal/Game-Malm-vs-Juventus-Live-Stream-Free-Reddit-891845316
https://www.deviantart.com/lyselsua66/journal/WatCh-Malm-vs-Juventus-Live-Stream-Free-Reddit-891845347
https://www.deviantart.com/lyselsua66/journal/Crackstreams-Malm-vs-Juventus-Live-Stream-891845376
https://www.deviantart.com/lyselsua66/journal/Game-Villarreal-vs-Atalanta-Live-Stream-Free-891845640
https://www.deviantart.com/lyselsua66/journal/FREE-Villarreal-vs-Atalanta-Live-Stream-Reddit-891845673
https://www.deviantart.com/lyselsua66/journal/Live-Atalanta-vs-Villarreal-Live-Stream-Reddit-891845712

The third COVID-19 wave in Russia has been particularly brutal. According to a government report released last month, 215,000 Russians died of the virus in July, a 42-percent increase from the same time period last year. But even considering the awful death toll, the statement from the country’s leader, known for his “macho” lifestyle, came across as uniquely vulnerable, surprising journalists who’ve been covering Putin for decades.

“At a maximum, what we have confirmed [in the past] are his sports traumas, damaged foot or back,” Pavel Lobkov, a veteran Russian television journalist, told The Daily Beast. “I remember during his first term in 2001 to 2004, Putin basically drank beer from the same cup as us reporters from the Kremlin’s pool. He was never germophobic, like [former Romanian dictator] Nicolae Ceaușescu, who washed his hands in alcohol after every handshake.”

Russians are paying a heavy price for the nation’s classic fatalism. The Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus is sweeping the country, killing thousands. Making matters worse is the fact that Russians are still skeptical about the state’s registered vaccines; only 31 percent of Russia’s 144 million people have been vaccinated. Putin received his Sputnik V anti-COVID shot in the spring. “I can say that our vaccine really shows results,” he said at the time.

“While Russians die like flies, the Kremlin hides Putin in some underground cave.”

Several of the Kremlin’s top officials, including Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, were infected with the virus in the early months of the pandemic last year. Through it all, the Kremlin would often boast about the president’s “perfect health” and the “disinfection tunnels”’ at his residence at Novo-Ogaryovo, in Moscow’s outskirts. Everybody visiting the president must pass through the tunnels, which are equipped with facial recognition technology and test visitors’ body temperature, according to the RIA state news agency, which has published what it says is video footage of the tunnels.

Putin has also spent a considerable amount of time during the pandemic hidden away at his beach house in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi. Last year, a Russian investigative news outlet, Proect, reported that Putin had set up identical offices in both of his residences for television addresses, so that Russians would not know if the president was in Moscow or in his house on the beach.

“Far from normal.”

In September 2020, The Daily Beast interviewed several hotel owners and taxi drivers in the mountains of Altai, a beautiful region bordering Central Asia. At the time, rumors that Putin had been spending weeks at the Gazprom residence in the Republic of Altai were swirling. “While Russians die like flies, the Kremlin hides Putin in some underground cave,” Leonid Zaitsev, a local taxi driver and guide, told The Daily Beast at the time.

Since then, the virus has continued to spread through Russia’s parliament, infecting and re-infecting deputies in the lower and upper chambers. By December 2020, out of 11 infected deputies, at least five MPs had tested positive for a second time, according to State Duma Speaker Vladimir Volodin.

Fast-forward to June of this year, when Moscow beat its own pandemic record, recording 9,120 new cases of COVID-19.

Discussing what special precautions are being taken to protect the president from the virus, the Kremlin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said in July: “You know that in the process of work some people might contact sick people, some of the President’s interlocutors could have recently been sick.” Peskov added that Putin’s visitors go through “very thorough testing.” Still, the situation was “far from normal,” Peskov admitted.

But there are often underlying motives to such statements from Putin and his mouthpiece.

Sergei Markov, a pro-Kremlin analyst, offered up his interpretation of the president’s recent remarks to The Daily Beast: “The President talked about the quarantine to prepare Russians for forced vaccinations,” Markov said. “The obligatory vaccination will begin right after the parliamentary elections this week.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *