Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has denied rumors that President Vladimir Putin is unwell.
The rumors started after a trip to Kazakhstan, scheduled for March 12-13, was postponed.
Vladimir Putin’s last public appearance was on March 5 when he met Italian PM Matteo Renzi.
Dmitry Peskov said those making the claims had themselves caught “spring fever”.
“When the sun comes up in the spring, and as soon as spring is in the air, then the fever begins,” he said.
“We are calm on this fever, and respond to the questions with patience.”
Insisting the president was “fine”, Dmitry Peskov said Vladimir Putin had meetings “all the time” but not all of them were public.
Besides the trip to Kazakhstan, Vladimir Putin was due to sign a treaty of integration between Russia and South Ossetia – a breakaway state formerly part of Georgia – but the ceremony did not take place.
There may be technical reasons for that – it was reported that the document had not been fully agreed.
Vladimir Putin had also been slated to attend a federal security meeting on March 12 but a government source told Russia’s RIA Novosti news agency it was unlikely to go ahead.
RBC Daily, a Moscow business newspaper, reported that the video of Vladimir Putin posted to the Kremlin’s website on March 8, meeting a delegation for International Women’s Day, had been pre-recorded on March 5. One participant at the meeting told the paper the president had looked tired.
Since then, more videos of Vladimir Putin have appeared on the site. Footage of a meeting with the governor of Russia’s republic of Karelia was published on March 11.
The videos have been the subject of scrutiny, with pundits looking closely at Vladimir Putin’s clothes and the digits of a calendar in the background for clues about when the filming took place.
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