I'm not sure whether it's wishful thinking or if Ukraine's President Zelensky is on to something, but he wondered out loud whether or not Vladimir Putin was still alive.
"I don't quite understand who to speak with and about what. I'm not sure the president of Russia, who sometimes appears against a green screen, is the right one. I don't quite understand if he is alive, if he is making the decisions, or who is making the decisions there," he said in front of an audience at Davos, according to Ukrainska Pravda, via Daily Beast.
"When we say "peace talks", I don't quite understand with whom [we should be negotiating]," he continued, via Yahoo!.
The Kremlin was quick to respond, but curiously, did not mention Putin's whereabouts or the state of his health, saying, "It is clear that both Russia and Putin are a big problem for Ukraine and for Zelenskyy. And it is clear that purely psychologically, Mr Zelenskyy would prefer that neither Russia nor Putin existed," according to Yahoo!.
From Daily Beast:
Putin famously canceled his year-end press conference for the first time in 10 years in December, along with his traditional address to the Federal Assembly. The Russian president has also been widely mocked on social media for attending a range of meetings and key events via video link from his bunker, even as Zelensky has made trips to some of the most dangerous spots on the frontline.
While Putin did take a trip to St. Petersburg this week and appear publicly for several events, the Kremlin stoked further suspicions about Putin's health Thursday with the announcement the Russian leader had taken a dip in icy waters to mark the Orthodox Christian feast of Epiphany, in keeping with his yearly tradition—but said no one would ever see proof he'd done so.
"This time there are no photos or videos. We are just informing you that he followed his tradition," Peskov said.