Putin death rumours surge after man tipped to succeed him refers to him in past tense
Speculation has swirled around Putin ever since a Telegram channel thought to be led by a Kremlin insider claimed he had died of a heart attack
Persistent rumours of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s death took a stunning new twist after his top security aide and the man tipped to succeed the president referred to him entirely in the past tense during a bizarre speech, a media report said.
Speculation has swirled around Putin ever since 'General SVR', a Telegram channel thought to be led by a Kremlin insider, claimed that he died of a heart attack and that body doubles had been put in place. The Kremlin has furiously denied the rumours, Express UK reported.
But Nikolai Patrushev — a former head of the FSB security service who has been backed to succeed Putin — was dressed all in black as he made odd references to the Russian President last week in a video that only emerged on Friday, the Express reported.
The secretary of Russia’s security council said: "Tired of the dashing 1990s, (Russian) society was waiting for a solution to social and economic problems and strengthening of national security.
Also Read: Putin allegedly suffers cardiac arrest
"It required a leader who could put the welfare of the population at the top of the agenda, display the highest human and organisational qualities, will, and dedication.
"Such a leader was Putin, who first served as prime minister, then was elected president and, in accordance with the Constitution, became chairman of the Russian security council.
"He knew in detail the state of affairs in the country, had a clear programme of action, saw the goal, imagined the tasks that should be solved to achieve it, the sequence of steps, as well as the necessary forces, means and resources.
"At the same time, he realised the critical importance of an evolutionary approach as opposed to revolutionary leaps, always weakening the Russian state.
"He believed in people and the reliability of their support and backing, realised and consciously assumed all responsibility for the salvation of the Fatherland."
Gennady Gudkov, an opposition politician and former FSB colonel, reacted to the bizarre video on X, writing to his 250,000 followers, "Patrushev, dressed in black, makes a speech about the great comrade Putin in the past tense: He was, he became, he led, he inspired," Express reported.
"Has the memorial service begun? Is it 'Vasilyevich' on the throne? Have Valery Solovei’s predictions come true?"
The last comment is in reference to previous claims made by Russian political analyst Solovei — a former professor at Moscow’s prestigious Institute of International Relations, a training academy for spies and diplomats — who claimed Putin died on the evening of 26 October, Express reported.