Mystery as Putin MISSES ice hockey game sending vid message with ‘blotchy face’
VLADIMIR Putin has missed his beloved annual ice hockey game as rumours continue to swirl regarding his health.
The Russian leader always appears at the event and takes part in a gala match as part of the Night Hockey League National Festival in Sochi.
But this year while being expected to take part, he instead sent a video message despite currently being in the Black Sea resort .
The match usually involves top officials, security chiefs, oligarchs and celebrities.
And in his video message, Putin appeared to have mysterious dark blotches on his cheeks which were perhaps masked by makeup.
In May 2021, the Russian president boasted that ice hockey offered him longevity, and he used his appearance to scotch rumours over his health at the time.
“You extend your life, you make it of better quality and deeper meaning,” he boasted.
However this year, aged 69, new rumours are swirling over supposed medical problems and possible upcoming surgery as he is embroiled in a war with Ukraine that has seen tens of thousands of Russian deaths.
Among the health claims are thyroid and abdominal cancer, Parkinson’s disease and a schizoaffective disorder.
The Kremlin insists he is healthy, yet there is also speculation Putin is due to undergo surgery in the near future.
Another reason might have been security, coming two days after a 77-aircraft flypast was cancelled on Red Square amid claims he was concerned about an “aerial strike” at the annual Victory Day parade.
Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov let it be known that the president would not take part in the 2022 ice hockey festival.
Instead in a video message Putin said: “I wish you good luck in your ice battles and all the best.
“And as they say: may the best win.”
A Moscow source said: “This was always a firm date in his diary. Something must be wrong for him to be a no-show.”
Regional Kuban News had reported: “It had been expected that Vladimir Putin would also play for Legends of Hockey, but in early May, the press secretary of the President of the Russian Federation, Dmitry Peskov, announced that the head of state would not take part in the game.
“It is only the second time in the history of the gala matches since 2012 that the President is missing this game.
“In 2013, he held a symbolic face-off, and watched the match from the stands.”
At the time, this was also blamed on health issues.