Sport Putin defies health rumours to glide over ice at gala hockey game

00:31  11 may  2021
00:31  11 may  2021 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

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Russian leader Vladimir Putin defied health rumours spread by his enemies as he glided over the ice in Sochi while stressing the importance of longevity.

The 68-year-old president skated around the arena in the Russian city to greet participants of a gala ice hockey match.

Putin wore number 11 in his latest appearance at a night hockey league contest involving a number of prominent government faces including powerful defence minister Sergei Shoigu.

Putin - a sports fanatic - claimed that ice hockey leads to longevity, as he hailed the tenth anniversary of the Night Hockey League which he founded.

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His appearance on skates came after rumours spread by his foes on social media channels of long-term health problems which his aides have always denied as nonsense.

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'Not only do you make your own life brighter, more interesting, more beautiful, more meaningful - you also set a fantastic example to millions of other people,' he said.

'You extend your life, you make it of better quality and deeper meaning.'

Putin's appearance came a day after he had presided over the annual Victory Day military parade on Red Square in Moscow.

He has changed Russian law which would permit him to stand for two more elections, potentially ruling into his 80s.

On recent public appearances he has mingled in crowds where mask wearing is the exception rather than the rule.

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Putin met with the president of the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) Rene Fasel at his official Sochi residence, Bocharov Ruchey.

Earlier on Monday Putin told Russians that he had responded well to his vaccination against Covid-19.

'As regards your humble servant, indeed, I was tested [for Covid-19 antibodies] yesterday, on May 9,' he said.

'The result is positive.'

He revealed his 'positivity coefficient … stands at 15 in my case.

'And, as the doctors have said, it is a good result.'

He said 21.5 million Russians had been vaccinated but called for more to get jabbed.

'The results are very good across the country.

'As in my previous speeches, I'd like to again call on people to get vaccinated without wasting any time.'

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The situation with Covid-19 in Russia was 'stable', he said.

Putin's ice hockey outing comes after he wrote Britain, the US and the rest of the Allies out of defeating the Nazis in the Second World War in his annual Red Square speech marking Victory Day.

The Kremlin leader altered his prepared text as he addressed 12,000 troops on the most sacred day in the Russian calendar commemorating the German surrender in 1945.

His original text in the official Kremlin transcript described how the Soviet people were 'united' in the fight against Hitler.

But he changed 'united' to twice use the word 'alone', altering the meaning of the passage.

Putin told the massed ranks of his forces and watching foreign diplomats: 'We shall always remember that this noble feat (defeat of the Nazis) was committed precisely by the Soviet people.

'At the most difficult time of war, in decisive battles which determined the outcome of the battle against Fascism, our people was alone - alone in the laborious, heroic and sacrificial path towards victory.'

The earlier version of his words used the word 'united' ('yedin') rather than 'alone' ('odin') .

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