Putin hasn’t died at his luxury forest palace and there’s no coup, Kremlin insists
A spokesperson said the report was an 'absurd information canard'.
The Russian government last night was forced to publicly deny that its president Vladimir Putin was dead.
The death of the leader, 72, at his luxury forest palace was ‘announced’ on Telegram by channel General SVR, which has long claimed Putin was terminally ill.
The report online read: ‘Attention! There is currently an attempted coup in Russia!
‘Russian President Vladimir Putin died this evening at his residence in Valdai.
‘At 20.42 Moscow time, doctors stopped resuscitation and pronounced death.
‘Now the doctors are blocked in the room with Putin’s corpse, they are being held by members of the presidential security service on the personal orders of Dmitry Kochnev [director of the Federal Guard Service], who is in touch and receives instructions from the secretary of the security council of the Russian Federation Nikolai Patrushev.
‘Security for the president’s double has been beefed up. Active negotiations are underway.
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‘Any attempt to pass off a double as the president after Putin’s death is a coup.’
Putin’s spokesperson Dmitry Peskov later told state media RIA Novosti the report was an ‘absurd information canard’.
Mr Peskov added earlier this week: ‘I can tell you there are no doubles when it comes to work and so on.’
But General SVR has said for months Putin was ill with various conditions, with the most recent claims suggesting he had a heart attack earlier this week.
It has been suggested Nikolai Patrushev, 72 and Putin’s top intelligence adviser, is poised to succeed him.
But Patrushev may also want success for his ambitious son and agriculture minister Dmitry Patrushev, 46.
Peskov added about the heart problems earlier this week: ‘[Putin] is well – this is no more than just another canard.
‘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].’
One theory around these rumours is that the General SVR channel is funded by ex-cronies of Putin, and there is a power struggle behind the scenes as Russia struggles in its war with Ukraine.
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