Bears came close to a camp where Vladimir Putin slept on a recent trip to Siberia — but were left free when they realized it was the Russian president, his top aide joked.
Dmitry Peskov made the comment during an interview about Putin’s recent camping adventures in Russia’s vast eastern region, which were intended to bolster his strong image following the recent elections.
Footage from the trip shows Putin talking to his head of security, who says “one or two” bears got close to the camp overnight.
Asked about the clip on Russian TV, he claimed the security had been adequate – before joking: “Besides, the bear could see it was Putin himself.”
Bears managed to get close to the camp where Russian President Vladimir Putin slept during his recent trip to Siberia, new footage shows.
At least one bear came close to the camp, probably through the smell of a fish that Putin claimed to have caught while cooking (file image, a bear photographed in the area before the camp was set up)
It was the director of the Sayano-Shushensky Nature Reserve, Gennnady Kiselov, who first told Putin how close he had come to a dangerous encounter with a bear.
“This is your camp—and here was the bear,” Kiselov said, pointing a little further away.
He explained that the bear was likely attracted to the smell of cooking food when a pike that Putin claimed to have caught was cooked overnight for dinner.
“How many bears are here?” Putin asks him in another section of the footage.
“Difficult to calculate,” answers Kiselov, before adding, “About 600.”
“A lot,” Putin replies.
Kiserlov also showed Putin a video showing a pack of wolves in wild territory on the fringes of three Siberian regions – Krasnoyarsk, Khakassia and Tuva.
“Look how well fed they are,” the national park director said. “Waiting their tail, they’re happy here, there’s plenty of food.”
Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov joked that the bears didn’t come close to the camp because they noticed it was the president and chose to stay away
The Kremlin has delayed publishing the footage from Putin’s camping trip for two and a half weeks over suggestions for a ploy to counter new health rumors about the strongman 69 next month.
Officially, Putin is currently “in self-isolation” due to a Covid-19 “outbreak” in his entourage.
But doubts have been raised about the virus’ intrusion into the massive security known to surround it.
Putin’s health watcher, political analyst Valery Solovei, claimed on Echo Moscow radio last week that the Russian president “needs surgery.”
“Either he’s already had it done, or he’ll do it tonight,” he said.
Still, Putin was seen on TV Saturday during a video conference with parliament party leaders, and he will host more meetings of his Security Council and a session with the pro-Kremlin United Russia party today, suggesting that he is working normally and clearly in good shape. health. .
Solovei and a Telegram channel linked to him and an unnamed disgruntled former lieutenant general with reported connections in the Kremlin elite have previously claimed that Putin has a major health problem hidden from the Russians.
Putin went camping for “a few days” in early September, the Kremlin said when it published images of the trip over the weekend
The footage was released as the Kremlin tried to dispel rumors of Putin’s health after some of his entourage fell ill with Covid
Sociologist Olga Kryshtanovskaya, an observer of ruling circles in Russia, claimed that a transfer of power is gradually underway, although the identity of Putin’s successor was unknown.
“The plan of the transition is of course kept a secret,” she was quoted as saying, but there have been other rumors of Putin identifying his favorite people for the succession.
One is certainly seen as Shoigu, 66, a frequent holiday companion and the man who led a massive mass of Russian troops on the border with Ukraine earlier this year, can be seen in the videos feeling comfortable in Putin’s presence.
Another possible successor, former Putin bodyguard Yevgeny Zinichev, 55, the Kremlin’s emergency minister, was killed in a mysterious incident in the Arctic earlier this month when he “fell off a cliff while trying to save a man.”
The Kremlin has repeatedly and forcefully denied SVR General’s claims that Putin suffers from early-stage Parkinson’s disease or abdominal cancer.
The channel claimed that Putin is undergoing treatment this month and that the Covid-19 outbreak report is likely a smokescreen.