Over the weekend, news outlets began reporting on the purported disappearance on Russian President Vladimir Putin. Putin had not been seen in public since March 5, an extraordinary amount of time for a public figure whose support often depends on his cult of personality.
However, he dismissed those rumors of his disappaearance earlier today in an appearance with Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev. President Putin said that life “would be boring without gossip.” Putin looked relaxed and did smile during the appearance, but some have said that he looks pale.
During Putin’s disappearance, there were a flurry of rumors of what had caused it. There were rumors that he was merely sick or that he had had gone to Switzerland to be with his rumored girlfriend who reportedly gave birth. There were also allegations of a behind-the-scenes coup that would have removed Putin from power. International sanctions and the falling price of oil have sent Russia’s economy into shambles.