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After going through the Snowden saga for months wondering where he was only to see him turn up in Moscow, now we have his bro' and mentor Vladimir Putin who also seems to have become a displaced (or misplaced) person.
For several weeks now Putin has not been seen by the public. He has missed high-level meetings, photo-ops, and all of his usual duties. The Kremlin has released pictures and video without dates attached to confirm that they are recent. There are rumors of a love child being born in Switzerland, but so far no baby - or Daddy - pictures. And there's an animated video of his abduction by aliens. There are cancer rumors, stroke rumors, plastic surgery rumors, death rumors, and lots of Putin jokes and hashtags.
You really cannot make this stuff up, folks. Maybe the 47 Traitors in the U.S. Senate can write him a letter and see if he replies as quickly as Iran did!
When Russian officials tried to trick the public by passing off old photos as new appearances, speculation about Putin's whereabouts went viral.
Hashtags such as #Whereisputin and #ПутинУмер -- Russian for #PutinIsDead -- became the tip of a giant social media iceberg, much of it streaked with dark humor.
In Ukraine, the neighboring state besieged by Putin's forces, someone reportedly left a large funeral wreath at the gate of the Russian embassy. A handwritten message addressed Putin with an expletive, telling him, "Thank you for croaking."
The Kremlin’s attempts to assure the public that Vladimir Putin is alive and well and still running Russia’s government did not go particularly well on Friday. Media outlets were presented with a tape of President Putin meeting with a senior government official – with no evidence of the date of the meeting. The Kremlin had previously issued photographs found to be several days old – causing more suspicion.
Making things even stranger, Russian TV station Rossiya 24 aired a live report of Putin’s meeting with Kyrgyzstan President Almazbek Atambayev, though the meeting is not scheduled to occur until Monday.
. . . Meanwhile, numerous reports began to surface Friday afternoon that key journalists in Moscow had been told to expect a major announcement from the Kremlin over the weekend. Some reports suggested the announcement would be made by Putin, while others simply said it would come from the Kremlin.
From Daily Beast
In an article titled Es ist ein Mädchen! or “It’s a Girl,” the paper Bilk claims that Putin and his alleged 32-year-old lover, Olympic gymnast Alina Kabayeva, welcomed their daughter at the private Santa Anna di Sorgeno clinic in the Italian-speaking canton of Ticino on the Italian border—a favorite playground for wealthy Russians.
. . . The Italian-language Swiss radio channel RSI is reporting that Putin reserved two rooms at the tony clinic—one for the new mother and another for their bodyguards. According to the Italian-language Swiss website Ticino News, Putin stayed with friends for the birth. They also point to a Twitter page linked to Kabayeva that seems to announce the birth though the Tweet would suggest the baby is a boy and the Swiss media say instead it is a girl.
. . . Other news outlets floated the idea that Putin’s absence could be the result of a bad plastic surgery. Forbes meanwhile reported that the killing of opposition politician Boris Nemtsov had created a rift within the chiefs of the Russian state security agency and Ramzan Kadyrov, the head of the Chechnya region, leaving Putin vulnerable to a coup.
Is Putin in Switzerland for Birth Of Secret Love Child? http://t.co/wBs71x2ViO via @BLNadeau
— LeftSharkSneak (@word_34) March 14, 2015
Ukrainian School Children made this Cartoon
Of Putin's Abduction by Aliens:
Best headline about Putin being MIA: Vladimir Putin is hiking the Appalachian Trail http://t.co/8n1pgsvz6e— Christopher Huffaker (@huffakingit) March 13, 2015
Or is Putin riding a weasel on a woodpecker?
I'm taking Putin bets: -Botox Clinic 2:5 -Slept in 2:9 -Appendicitis 1:10 -Dead 1:20 -Brony Convention 1:50 -Cleveland 1:100
— Scott Gilmore (@Scott_Gilmore) March 13, 2015
Was waiting till Monday to see if Putin showed but Russian state TV has blown it. He's dead. #PutinIsDead. Kremlin avoiding anarchy w/o pres— Kate 2015 (@Kate_2015) March 14, 2015
Obviously, Putin has just gone undercover for his investigation of the Nemstov murder.
— Alec MacGillis (@AlecMacGillis) March 14, 2015
#TeheranTom seems to be incommunicado if seen please contact the Justice Dept. coincidentally #Putin is missing pic.twitter.com/PY09qzqE4X
— Johnny (@Fried_Kimchi) March 14, 2015
Putin just read Eat, Pray, Love and was really inspired. He needed some 'me time' to really figure himself out. #WhereIsPutin
— Chris Hagel (@MullingHagel) March 13, 2015