The Kremlin has officially denied an internet report that claimed President Vladimir Putin suffered a heart attack.
“There is nothing wrong with him. As usual, this is a hoax,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday, according to local media reports.
Earlier, a widely read Russian Telegram blog claimed that Mr Putin had suffered a heart attack in the past weekend and had been resuscitated by doctors.
The Kremlin felt compelled to issue a denial, even though the story lacked credibility. Mr Peskov spoke of “false Western media reports.”
The health of the 71-year-old Russian president has often been the cause of speculation, but there has been no confirmed information about any illnesses he might be suffering from.
How healthy Mr Putin is, however, is an issue in Russia ahead of the upcoming 2024 presidential election.
While a specific election date remains unannounced and Mr Putin has not officially declared his candidacy, there is widespread anticipation that he will pursue another term in office. Mr Peskov affirmed that the election is drawing nearer and is certain to occur.
He also denied claims that Mr Putin had doubles acting for him at public appearances.
“I can say that there are no doubles,” he said.