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sure he's grand

Kremlin: Putin's not ill, he could break your hand if he wanted to

The Russian president hasn’t been seen in public in a while.

THE KREMLIN HAS dismissed reports that Vladimir Putin is in ill health, after the Russian President hasn’t been seen in public for a week.

Putin (62) postponed a trip to Kazakhstan this week, leading many people to speculate about his health.

Europe and Africa The Week In Pictures Dec. 15 - Dec. 22, 2014 AP / Press Association Images AP / Press Association Images / Press Association Images

He also postponed a meeting to sign an alliance agreement with the leader of the Georgian breakaway region of South Ossetia, and did not show up at a meeting of the FSB security agency.

Putin was last seen in public on 5 March, when he met Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.

“There’s no need to worry, he’s absolutely healthy,” Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Echo of Moscow radio station on Thursday.

He said Putin was busy with Russia’s economic crisis and has “meetings constantly, but not all meetings are public.”

Asked if Putin’s handshake remains firm, Peskov laughed and said: “It breaks your hand.”

However, he evaded a question on when Putin would next be seen on television.

“As soon as the sun comes out… and it starts smelling of spring, people start getting delusions,” Peskov told TASS agency.

The last time the Russian president’s health prompted such speculation was when he cancelled a number of foreign trips in 2012 after appearing to have developed a limp, which the Kremlin said was due to a sports injury.

The Moscow Times had some fun with the whole situation, asking ‘Where’s Vladimir?’

Meanwhile, the paper’s web editor made this wry observation:

With reporting from AFP

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