Sun. May 26th, 2024

VLADIMIR Putin has brought out his massive “social distancing” table again – leaving a gaping distance between himself and Russia’s religious leaders.

The bizarre meeting came shortly after Russia issued a statement denying reports that Putin had died in his beloved Valdai Palace, just north of Moscow.

WILL STEWARTVladimir Putin met with religious leaders from a large distance away[/caption]

APThe comically large table has raised eyebrows[/caption]

His socially distanced meeting yesterday was a far cry from his recent close up meetings with other officials, fuelling the rumours that the tyrant uses body doubles. 

Formerly when Putin held meetings – famously with the French president Emmanuel Macron, and his military commanders – he did so on a long table sitting much further away than health guidelines recommended.

Back in April he also kept well apart as new ambassadors presented their credentials. 

In the socially distanced meeting, Putin praised the clerics for backing his war in Ukraine – which has seen hundreds of thousands killed since February 2022.

Putin told the religious leaders from several metres away: “I thought it was very important to meet with you.

“I want to thank you all for supporting the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation and our fighters, their families, all those who are fighting for Russia as part of the special military operation…..”

The Russian leader also said he wished to speak about “events in the Middle East”, and said “expressed condolences” to families of those who lost loved ones.

He bemoaned the deaths in Israel and the Gaza Strip – while ignoring that his own war in Ukraine has killed on a greater scale. 

Putin said: “It is also obvious to us that innocent people should not be held accountable for crimes committed by others… this is a real humanitarian disaster.”

As he continues to bomb Ukraine, he said “the main task” in the Middle East “is to stop bloodshed and violence”.

The laughable distance came as this week the Kremlin continued to deny Putin was facing health problems.

Telegram channel General SVR claimed earlier this week: “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 who is in touch and receives instructions from the Secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation Nikolai Patrushev.”

But in an extraordinary denial Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov told state media RIA Novosti that the report was an “absurd information canard”.

He said: “These [kinds of stories] belong to the category of fake news, discussed with enviable tenacity by a number of media outlets.”

Earlier this week Peskov also had to strongly deny rumours that Putin suffered a heart attack, and reinforced that any reports of a doppelganger were false.

People have started to theorise that these fake reports are further evidence of an intense power struggle in Russia as the country struggles in its war with Ukraine

Previously experts revealed how Putin’s body language could signify health issues, with body language expert Judi James analysing his movements during Putin’s meeting with Xi Jingping.

She said: “These could be prompted by anxiety or health issues but they don’t look pronounced.”

It comes after a series of chilling “clues” fuelled speculation Putin may be suffering from serious health problems including cancer.

WILL STEWARTThe use of the large table has fuelled rumours the tyrant has health issues[/caption]

EPAHe used the table to meet with defence experts earlier this year[/caption]

ReutersExperts previously said his body language when meeting with Xi Jinping could show “health anxiety”[/caption]

AFPWhen French president Macron met with Putin, he used an enormous table[/caption]

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