As a flu outbreak has hit Kremlin officials, Russian President Vladimir Putin will likely go into isolation in a bunker, a report by the Mirror said on Tuesday. Putin’s spokesperson Dmitry Peskov, reportedly told the Novaya Gazeta Europe news outlet that many people in the Kremlin are down with the flu. Putin has already cancelled his annual set-piece press conference this month.
An address to Parliament is not ruled out this month, but the claim of Putin’s close officials being hit by the flu might be a prelude to the Russian President going into full-scale quarantine and aborting public appearances, the Mirror report said.
However, a report by the Today Verstka news outlet said that Putin is likely to abandon his address to the Upper House of Parliament. The report added that the Russian President and his close family will spend the annual New Year vacation in a bunker east of the Ural Mountains. Usually, Putin marks the vacation by the Black Sea.
“Despite the president’s order to strengthen security measures at strategic facilities, the already prohibitive security measures of Vladimir Putin himself have really intensified. Putin has begun to spend more time in bunker-type premises. And the president and his loved ones [will celebrate] the New Year in a bunker located behind the Ural Mountains, instead of the residence in Sochi, as previously planned,” the report said.
The above news comes amid intensified spread of the swine flu and Covid-19 in Russia, not to mention its offensive in Ukraine, which will soon be completing 11 months. In the latest updates on the war, Ukrainian forces shot down 13 drones on Wednesday as Russia launched its first major drone attack on Kyiv in weeks.