A video doing rounds on the internet intensified speculations regarding the health of Russian president Vladimir Putin. The video showed the Russian president’s motorcade rushing towards the Kremlin and reported Putin never left afterwards.
The video, 38-seconds in length, showed black vehicles rushing towards the Kremlin with sirens blaring and lights flashing headed towards the seat of the Russian government in central Moscow.
— Terror Alarm (@terror_alarm) June 26, 2022
Several bystanders were seen watching the motorcade speed past them in Manezhnaya Street an hour before midnight on Saturday. Among the six black cars, Vladimir Putin’s Aurus limousine was also seen speeding towards the Kremlin.
“Late last night #Putin’s motorcade urgently rushed to the Kremlin where Putin spent the rest of the night and has not left since. No one knows why,” a Twitter handle, which goes by the name of Terror Alarm, tweeted.
The Russian government quickly denied all speculations that Putin arrived at the Kremlin to give an emergency statement.
The viral video on social media prompted Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov to issue a statement. He said there was nothing extraordinary about the late night entry to the Kremlin. “No. Everything is not like that. Everything is normal,” Peskov was quoted as saying by news agency TASS.
The Russian president also discussed matters with Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko and there were speculations that the sudden visit was due to that, but the Kremlin also denied those speculations.
Kyiv officials said Russia launched air strikes for the first time from Belarus, an announcement which followed Putin’s motorcade dash. Putin also announced on Saturday that Moscow would supply Minsk with a missile system capable of carrying nuclear weapons.
Lukashenko urged Putin to help Belarus as he was concerned about the ‘confrontational’ stance neighbors Lithuania and Poland – members of NATO and the European Union – have taken.
“We will transfer Iskander-M tactical missile systems to Belarus, which can use both ballistic and cruise missiles, both in conventional and nuclear versions,” Putin said.
Soon after the announcements, Russian missiles struck residential areas in Kyiv.
Ukraine suffered a setback as it lost Severodonetsk to Russia and its neighbor is eyeing neighboring city Lysychansk, thus eliminating all Ukrainian resistance in Luhansk.