Kremlin denies Putin craned back on microlight flight
Russian president Vladimir Putin’s spokesman has denied a report that his recent flight in a microlight aircraft caused a serious injury to his back.
In recent weeks, Mr Putin has rarely left his official residence, sparking speculation that injury has laid him low.
Yesterday, the Vedomosti newspaper cited unnamed Kremlin sources saying Mr Putin’s September flight in a motorised hang-glider accompanying migrating Siberiabn white cranes had aggravated an old injury. But spokesman Dmitry Peskov later said that Mr Putin had an old injury unconnected to the highly publicised flight.
He said Mr Putin was making only infrequent trips to the Kremlin because he didn’t want his motorcade to disrupt Moscow’s notoriously bad traffic.
Mr Putin has also put off several expected trips abroad, including to India, Turkey and Bulgaria.
The flight with the cranes, which took place in September in Vladivostok, was one of Mr Putin’s trademark media adventures. The 60-year-old Russian leader has cultivated an image of vigour and daring, including being shown swimming in a Siberian river and stroking a tranquilised polar bear in the Arctic.
“Indeed he pulled a muscle. It happened before Vladivostok. He was suffering from some muscle pain then,” Mr Peskov said. “Actually, we have never tried to conceal it because any athlete has lots of injuries.”
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