Sources claimed that Patrushev and a Putin body double took over for the “late” Russian leader following his purported death late last month.
"For the first time in the history of the existence of nuclear missile weapons, our country is ahead of its competitors in this domain,” the Secretary of Russia's Security Council said in Moscow this week.
Patrushev also reportedly commented on Russia’s "unique strategic weapons” including “hypersonic ones” and vowed that the nation’s nuclear arsenal "will guarantee Russia's security for many decades."
His remarks this week in Moscow created newfound concern that Russia may decide to launch nukes into Ukraine as well as against Ukraine’s allies.
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The Russian Telegram channel General SVR was the first outlet to report Putin’s alleged death, and the channel also claimed that a “coup” was underway in Moscow after the real Putin’s passing.
“Attention! There is currently an attempted coup in Russia!” General SVR reported late last month. “Russian President Vladimir Putin died this evening at his residence in Valdai.”
The Telegram channel previously reported on Putin’s alleged heart attack on the night of Oct. 22, and a “knightly round table” led by Patrushev was allegedly appointed while the Russian leader was incapacitated.
“People privy to the current situation from the president’s inner circle held consultations on Monday,” General SVR said.
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“Representatives of several elite groups tried to determine the possibility of consolidating into the prototype of a certain 'Politburo' headed by Nikolai Patrushev and control over Putin’s double, who will 'temporarily' represent the president,” the outlet added at the time.
“Everything is fine with him, this is absolutely another fake rumor,” Peskov said. “I can tell you there are no doubles when it comes to work and so on.”
“These kinds of stories belong to the category of fake news, discussed with enviable tenacity by a number of media outlets,” he added. “This brings nothing but a smile in the Kremlin.”
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