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Mystery as ‘sickly’ Putin MISSES beloved annual ice hockey match and sends video message with ‘blotchy face’

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VLADIMIR Putin has missed his annual ice hockey starring role raising new intrigue over his health or security concerns as he instead appeared in a video with evident dark marks on both cheeks. 

He has made a habit each May of gliding over the ice at a gala match, part of Russia’s Night Hockey League National Festival .

In 2021, Vladimir Putin, then 68, glided over the ice and boasted that the sport gave him longevity
Putin failed to take part in the annual Night Hockey League National Festival gala match in Sochi

But this year while “expected” to take part,  he instead sent a video message despite currently being in Black Sea resort  Sochi, location of the match which involves top officials, security chiefs, oligarchs and celebrities. 

Putin appeared to have  mysterious dark blotches  on his cheeks which were perhaps masked by makeup. 

In May 2021, the Russian president boasted that ice hockey offered him longevity, and he used his appearance to scotch rumours over his health at the time. 


“You extend your life, you make it of better quality and deeper meaning,” he boasted. 

However this year, aged 69, new rumours are swirling over supposed  medical problems and possible upcoming surgery as he is embroiled in a war with Ukraine that has seen tens of thousands of Russian deaths. 

However this year, aged 69, new rumours are swirling over supposed  medical problems and possible upcoming surgery as he is embroiled in a war with Ukraine that has seen tens of thousands of Russian deaths. 

Among the health claims are thyroid and abdominal cancer, Parkinson’s disease and a schizoaffective disorder.

The Kremlin insists he is healthy, yet there is also speculation Putin is due to undergo surgery in the near future. 

Another reason might have been security, coming two days after a 77-aircraft flypast was cancelled on Red Square amid claims he was concerned about an “aerial strike” at the annual Victory Day parade. 

Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov let it be known  that the president would not take part in the 2022 ice hockey festival.

Instead in a video message Putin said: “I wish you good luck in your ice battles and all the best. 

“And as they say: may the best win.”

A Moscow source said: “This was always a firm date in his diary. Something must be wrong for him to be a no-show.”

Regional Kuban News had reported: “It had been  expected that Vladimir Putin would also play for Legends of Hockey, but in early May, the press secretary of the President of the Russian Federation, Dmitry Peskov, announced that the head of state would not take part in the game. 

“It is only the second time in the history of the gala matches since 2012 that the President is missing this game. 

“In 2013, he held a symbolic face-off, and watched the match from the stands.”

At the time, this was also blamed on health issues.

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