Russia Photos: He's Back
After 11 days of no public appearances and dozens of theories and speculations about his curious absence, Russian President Vladimir Putin stepped back into the public spotlight today during a presentation to the news media with Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev joining him at the Konstantinovsky Palace in St. Petersburg. Photos released by the Kyrgyz Presidential Press Service show the two leaders striding into a room together, shaking hands, sitting down, and exchanging comments to each other and reporters.
During the discussion the Kyrgyz president commented: "I’d like to add for the media that Mr. Putin just drove me around the [palace] grounds, and was at the wheel himself. I say this to dispel the rumors." Atambayev was referring to more than a week of media commentators, political analysts, bloggers, and government opposition figures conjuring up guesses and gossip as to Putin's absence, including a Kremlin coup, attending the birth of secret lovechild in Switzerland, illness, and even death
Putin added: "Life would get boring without rumors."
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