Mr. Peskov, the Kremlin spokesman, said the presidential work areas exterior Moscow and in Sochi usually are not similar. “This isn’t true,” he instructed journalists on a convention name on Wednesday. The Proekt report, Mr. Peskov mentioned, was one in all a collection of latest exposés about Mr. Putin’s private life that had been an “info marketing campaign, an info assault” on the president.
“The president has many places of work and no similar places of work,” Mr. Peskov mentioned. He challenged Proekt’s use of flight data to contradict official statements about Mr. Putin’s whereabouts. Presidential planes are at instances primarily based exterior of Moscow, he mentioned, however he declined to debate particular flights, noting the actions of the top of state are categorized for safety causes.
Mr. Putin has instructed the Russian information media that he has rejected plans to make use of subterfuge to guard his safety. In February, he instructed the Tass information company that, early in his tenure, he declined to make use of a physique double to deceive potential assassins.
This 12 months, verifying Mr. Putin’s whereabouts has solely change into harder as he has taken extraordinary precautions in opposition to the virus, even by the requirements of different heads of state.
Russian journalists who cowl the president within the Kremlin pool have seldom seen him up shut since March, reporters have said. Guests are required to quarantine for as much as two weeks earlier than coming inside respiration distance. And even then, earlier than assembly Mr. Putin, they need to stroll via a disinfecting tunnel — a construction resembling an airport metallic detector that sprays a tremendous mist of antiseptics.
The president has carried out so many televised conferences by video hyperlink that state tv over the summer season ran a particular report on the location, noting the microphones and screens obtainable for conferences — and figuring out it as positioned on the authorities residence exterior Moscow, not by the seashore.
One web site that republished the story, T Journal, elicited a whole bunch of feedback from readers poring over images of Mr. Putin, suited and severely conducting state enterprise, seated in equally showing places of work. Some discovered indicators of a ruse.