Vladimir Putin has appeared in public for the first time in 11 days to meet with the President of Kyrgyzstan.
The meeting between the Russian President and Almazbek Atambayev in the Constantine Palace, near St Petersburg, follows more than a week of intense speculation over Putin’s sudden disappearance from the public eye.
“Judging by the Atambayev’s expression, Putin’s handshake is strong,” a Russian reporter at the scene quipped on Twitter.
Denying rumours of illness last week, Mr Putin’s official spokesperson said his handshake “can break a hand.”
President Atambayev reportedly addressed the assembled media before the start of the meeting confirming the Russian leader’s good health and claiming he was in “great shape”.
Rumours that Mr Putin was dead have been struck off the list but there has not yet been any formal explanation of his whereabouts.
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