Is Putin Dead?

Rumor: Russian President Vladimir Putin has died.

Published Mar 13, 2015

Rumors started circulating in March 2015 that Russian President Vladimir Putin had died:

The theory, which was first floated on Russian social media, was based on the fact that Putin had not made a live television appearance for several days after meeting with Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi on 5 March 2015.

While it's unclear where Putin has been, the Kremlin assured the public on 13 March 2015 that the president was alive and well:

Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, asked by Reuters if the president was in good health, replied "yes".

"He has meetings all the time," he said by telephone. "He has meetings today, tomorrow. I don't know which ones we will make public."

The image shown in the Putin "secret funeral" tweet displayed above is also a fake, one crafted from a blending of a picture of former Soviet leader Josef Stalin's casket with a news photo of the current Russian president fishing:

On 13 March 2015, the Kremlin released a series of photographs said to show Putin meeting with the head of the Supreme Court in Moscow, and state broadcaster Russia 24 also aired video footage of the meeting.

Putin's death wasn't the only explanation for his absence to circulate in March 2015 after the president took a brief haitus from the public eye. Some also speculated that Putin needed time to recover from plastic surgery, that he was bedridden with the flu, or that his girlfriend had just given birth to a child. Of course, all of these rumors are pure conjecture.

Last updated:   14 March 2015

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as back in 1994.

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