Did Putin induce a heart attack in his defence min? Here’s what Ukraine claimed

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If one is to believe Ukraine minister Anton Gerashchenko, Russia’s defence minister might have suffered a heart attack after he was confronted with a livid Russian President Vladimir Putin.  

Gerashchenko also claimed that the Russia‘s warmongering leader blamed Shoigu, previously one of his closest and most trusted allies, for the botched invasion of Ukraine and rumours swirled as to his apparent disappearance.

Shoigu’s sudden disappearance comes across as punishment imposed y the Kremlin for not yet capturing key Ukrainian cities like Kharkiv or Kyiv. A Guardian report claimed that the issue was brought up at the daily press meet held by the Kremlin as reporters asked the whereabouts of the defence minister.

Speculations also did the rounds that Shoigu had sought resignation from the Kremlin when the military offensive was launched on 24 February, like other members of Vladimir Putin ’s inner circle, but that his plea was rejected by the strongman.

The 66-year-old army general Shoigu was today shown in a broadcast reading from notes in an apparent crisis session to obtain more cash from the Finance Ministry for his disastrous war. However, there was no immediate proof of when the televised Shoigu session broadcast today took place, although it clearly referred to the ‘special military operation’ – Kremlin-speak for the war – underway in Ukraine.

“Shoig is having a heart attack. That is why he does not appear in public since mid-March. Shoigu’s heart attack happened after a tough accusation by Putin for a complete failure of the invasion of Ukraine. Now he is undergoing rehabilitation at the Main Military Clinical Hospital named after N. N. Burdenko,” said Gerashchenko in a Facebook post.

The previous definite appearance of Shoigu was on March 11, although the Russians say he attended a video conference with Vladimir Putin on 24 March. Sceptics believed this was a fake with Shoigu’s face on the screen but likely not in fact in attendance.

Kremlin spokesperson, as reported, said it is quite understandable that the defence minister is busy amid the special military operation and it is not exactly the right time for media activities.

Soon after, the defence minister was seen on the television, in a clip of a security council teleconference with Putin where the minister was said to have reported progress in the special military operation.

“Shoigu was giving a report to the National Security Council on the military operation in Ukraine remotely. The broadcast footage, which interrupted a live interview, did not show Shoigu speak, but his image appeared on screen among other video call participants reporting to [Russian President Vladimir] Putin,” CNN reported casting doubt on the recent footage.

 

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