Be very wary of the Telegram account claiming Putin was found convulsing from a heart attack – DIGIWIZ CENTRAL

Be very wary of the Telegram account claiming Putin was found convulsing from a heart attack

Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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The Kremlin has issued a denial after a prominent Russian Telegram account said Putin had a heart attack. The anonymous account, General SVR, regularly pumps out fascinating claims about Putin.There’s good reason to be highly skeptical of the account, experts have told Insider. 

It’s “wild Putin health rumor” time again.

On Tuesday, tabloid news outlets breathlessly wrote up that the Kremlin had denied claims about President Vladimir Putin having brushed with death.

They originated in a post by the anonymous Russian Telegram account General SVR, an infamous source of juicy but unsubstantiated tales about Putin and his circle.

The account claimed that Putin was found on Sunday night “convulsively arched” in the throes of a heart attack. The Russian president, it went on to say, has been represented by a body double at recent meetings.

In a response, Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov called the health rumor a “hoax” and said the talk of body doubles “does not induce anything but a smile” to Kremlin insiders, as state-controlled outlet TASS reported.

The General SVR Telegram account, with more than 390,000 followers across three accounts, is a major purveyor of such rumors. But as experts have told Insider — you should view its claims skeptically.

Purporting to be run by current and former members of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service, or SVR, it regularly pumps out appealingly detailed behind-the-scenes accounts.

Some involved in running the account told Insider in January that it has “complete confidence” in its sources, but declined to identify them, citing security reasons.

The Kremlin is a barely-reliable source itself, and its own claims are taken with skepticism by media outlets including Insider.

And it’s not unreasonable for an outlet to grant anonymity to any whistleblower who feels threatened by the Kremlin.

But the vast majority of gossip around Putin’s failing health — much of it originating from General SVR — has never been independently substantiated.

For most of it to be true would rely on implausible Kremlin cover-ups extending to Putin body doubles.

Aric Toler, a New York Times reporter who used to work for the respected investigative outlet Bellingcat, said last year that the account uses “made-up sources,” and advised people to ignore it. Two further Russian media experts also told Insider they do not consider it to be a serious source.

The account spread the wild claim, last December, that Putin had fallen down the stairs and pooped himself (another story that scored a Kremlin denial). It also said that Putin planned to undergo cancer surgery last May, and to temporarily hand over power; and that he had a coughing fit in September ahead of announcing a partial mobilization of reserve troops in Ukraine.

This isn’t to say anyone can be certain that all’s well with Putin. There is some credible investigative reportingplus years and years of anecdotes — that suggest Putin may have, or have had, treatment for some longstanding chronic health issue. That would hardly be unusual for a 71-year-old.

But, as Russia experts will tell you, solid information from inside the Kremlin is almost impossible to obtain.

As Dr Lucy Birge, a researcher specializing in Russian media and politics, told Insider in January: “Obviously there are things going on behind the scenes and we don’t know what they are.

“It’s tempting to follow this unidentified person who has all the answers.”

Read the original article on Business Insider
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