ERR in Moscow: Putin has a full schedule next week (1)
Moscow is alive with speculation on the whereabouts of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has not been seen in public for a week. ERR's man in Moscow, Neeme Raud, said Putin has a very busy week ahead of him.
“Practically all larger Russian media outlets and websites are discussing what might have happened to the president. The most popular reasoning is that he fell ill, but the Kremlin does not want to talk about it,” Raud said.
Raud said the Kremlin has once again become tight-lipped and there is no information coming out, just like in the times of the Soviet Union.
On March 18, Putin is expected to attend a large-scale concert on the Red Square to celebrate the annexation of Crimea. “This has been confirmed by the Kremlin spokesman, who said the president has a very tight schedule next week. But his current location remains unknown,” he said.
Security expert and Reform Party politician Eerik Niiles Kross said the situation with Putin could be just a conspiracy theory overload, but it does seem like something is not in order in the Kremlin.
Kross told Postimees there are a number of theories circling in the press, including Putin suffering a stroke and an attempt by Putin's inner circle to force him out, with Sergei Ivanov, the Chief of the Presidential Administration, taking over the PM seat from Dmitry Medvedev, after which Putin himself will be ousted.