Putin Reappears, Puts 40,000 Troops On Full Alert As Part Of “Snap-Readiness Exercises”
After disappearing for ten days from the public’s eye, theories surrounding his absence ranged from the tabloidy (fathering a baby with a Russian gymnast), to the trivial (lower back issues), to the bizarre (another putsch in the Kremlin), to the idiotic (dead). All that can be cast aside when moments ago we learn that the Russian president simply wanted some time away and has now reappeared for his meeting with the Kyrgyz president. From Bloomberg:
- PUTIN ARRIVES FOR MEETING W/ KYRGYZ PRESIDENT IN ST. PETERSBURG
And for those who desperately need photographic evidence here it is:
Putin take on the rumors:
Putin on the #PutinMissing speculation about his health: “It would be boring without rumors.”
— Kirit Radia (@KiritRadia) March 16, 2015
That settles that, at least until the next rumor.
But while Putin may have kept a low visibility profile, he was very well heard, and as reported earlier today, the Russian president ordered nearly 40,000 troops in northern and western Russia to be put on full alert early Monday as part of snap-readiness exercises, official news agencies quoted Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu as saying.
According to the WSJ, the maneuvers are the latest in a series of such checks in recent years and follow dozens of military exercises conducted over the past year since the start of the Ukraine crisis.
The military exercises announced on Monday involve Russia’s Northern Fleet, as well as airborne and other troops in the west of the country. The main focus is to test readiness in the Arctic, where Russia has expanded its military presence in recent years, officials said. The exercises are scheduled to continue through to March 21.
“New challenges and threats to military security require further increases in the military capabilities of the armed forces and special attention to the newly formed strategic group in the northern direction, ” Mr. Shoigu said.
Many more to come:
- RUSSIA TO HOLD CONSTANT UNPLANNED MILITARY CHECKS: PESKOV
As the WSJ concludes, “western officials have criticized Russia’s frequent exercises as threatening and provocative, a charge Moscow parries with its own allegations that military maneuvers near Russia’s borders by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization are destabilizing.” Oddly enough, they have nothing to say about NATO parking tanks and armors and various other weapons just feet away from the Russian border.
— estNATO (@estNATO) March 14, 2015
Kremlin Planning Major Announcement
In the midst of Vladimir Putin’s mysterious absence, it appears that the Kremlin is announcing something big. Pictures of Putin allegedly meeting a leading judge today may be formerly staged photos. Beyond this, a large stage is being built in Red Square– right near Boris Nemstov’s murder:
Putin’s vanished. They are building a massive stage in front of the Kremlin. Something’s up. pic.twitter.com/00TkCbWxUi
— Henry Thoreau (@Thoreau_H_D) March 13, 2015
The Kremlin has now announced that there will be a major announcement in the next couple of days. It has advised journalists not to leave Moscow. The exact announcement is still unknown but sparking speculation.
A source in the press service of the President of Russia says he is preparing a major announcement in the near future; and for this reason, heads of relevant media are asked to be ready in the next few days for a possible press conference.
This was indirectly confirmed by the CEO of the Center for Political Information polit-info, Alexei Mukhin.
Very interesting as Putin’s next planned meeting is slated for Monday.
The Kremlin is preparing a major announcement, journalists are asked not to depart for the weekend
According to a source in the press service of the President of Russia in the near future is preparing a major announcement, and for this reason, heads of relevant media asked to be ready in the next few days for a possible press conference.
This is indirectly confirmed by the CEO of the Center for Political Information polit-info Alexei Mukhin.
Mukhin also not denied reports that President Putin is currently incapacitated. “Guys, you now need the president, gather ..” – he wrote in his Twitter. The question – whether he confirms rumors about Putin, Mukhin said “no comment.” He also asked the staff at the weekend are in place, “will be something important,” he added