A recent post on a Russian Telegram channel has ignited concerns about the health of Russian President Vladimir Putin. The post, accompanied by a picture of Putin, was made by “Z-blogger” Pozdnyakov, and reads: “God, don’t you leave us. Pray to God you are alive and healthy.”
The cryptic message, laden with worry, has sparked a wave of discussions across social media platforms, with individuals questioning the well-being of the Russian leader. However, as of writing, no official statement or confirmation regarding Putin’s health status has been released by the Russian government.
Taking note of the situation, Anton Gerashchenko, advisor to the Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, voiced his curiosity on X (formerly Twitter), asking: “What is going on?”
Gerashchenko’s inquiry has only added fuel to the already simmering speculation about Putin’s health.
Others joined in in speculating about the Russian leader’s health.
X user RAVEN wrote: “Probably nothing, but if he’s sick and his time is nearing the end, then it actually makes perfect sense to get rid of Prigozjin. He would most certainly try to take over if this is the case.”
X user Michael Beamish added: “We can only pray this is the case!”
Any uncertainties about Putin’s health are bound to have far-reaching implications both domestically and internationally.
It comes as Russian authorities on Sunday confirmed the death of Wagner Group chief Yevgeny Prigozhin, putting to rest any doubts about whether the wily mercenary leader turned mutineer was on a plane that crashed Wednesday, killing everyone on board.
Genetic testing on the 10 bodies recovered at the crash site “conform to the manifest ” for the flight, Russian Investigative Committee spokeswoman Svetlana Petrenko said in a statement. Russia’s civil aviation authority had said Prigozhin and some of his top lieutenants were on the list of seven passengers and three crew members.
The Investigative Committee did not indicate what might have caused the business jet to plummet from the sky halfway between Moscow and St. Petersburg, Prigozhin’s hometown.
But the crash’s timing raised suspicions of a possible Kremlin-orchestrated hit, while Prigozhin’s chameleon-like background allowed for speculation that he wasn’t on the plane or had somehow escaped death.
Two months ago, Prigozhin, 62, mounted a daylong mutiny against Russia’s military, leading his mercenaries from Ukraine toward Moscow. Russian President Vladimir Putin decried the act as “treason” and vowed punishment for those involved.