Putin cancels trip at short notice – the Kremlin's reasoning arouses suspicion
Created: 12/30/2022, 9:46 am
By: Florian Naumann
Vladimir Putin sits in the cockpit of an airplane simulator during a visit to the Aeroflot flight training complex March 5, 2022.
(Archive image) © IMAGO/Mikhail Klimentyev/Kremlin Pool/Zuma Wire
Vladimir Putin is staying at home – despite a much-announced trip to the border region.
The Kremlin's justification provokes questions.
Moscow/Munich – Vladimir Putin had made himself rare for many months and conducted his official business almost exclusively from the Kremlin – he was said to be afraid of a (corona) infection.
In the meantime, Russia's president is back in his own country and sometimes abroad.
Most recently, for example, with his Belarusian ally Alexander Lukashenko.
However, Putin canceled a trip to the city of Pskov near the Estonian border at short notice.
The official reason given by his spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, was met with suspicion abroad.
Vladimir Putin stays at home - because of bad "flight conditions"?
Actually, Putin was supposed to take part in the opening of a titanium polymer factory in the north-west Russian city in a high-profile manner.
Presenting the performance of the Russian economy is important to the Kremlin in view of the Western sanctions.
But Peskow delivered a rejection on Wednesday (December 28).
"He was supposed to fly to the Pskov region today on a business trip, but in the end it's not possible due to the flight conditions," the Kremlin spokesman said, according to the state news agency TASS.
Instead, Putin will be connected via video conference.
The Ukrainian news portal Nexta
claimed that Peskov “lied” about it
"The weather conditions in Pskov are absolutely normal."
Putin's cancellation is met with suspicion in Ukraine - meteorologists and flight trackers give no clues
In fact, the BBC weather service reported hardly any abnormalities for the Pskov region on Wednesday afternoon.
The meteorologists predicted “light clouds” and “light wind”, plus a low probability of precipitation and temperatures just below freezing.
Presumably not a problem for Russian aviation, which is used to harsh winters.
Only from around 11 p.m. does the probability of light snowfall increase.
For Moscow, the weather experts were already expecting light precipitation for the afternoon.
However, the portal
reported no cancellations and only minor delays at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport.
Planes to and from Moscow landed and took off at Pskov Airport in the morning, and a flight to Kaliningrad in the evening was to take place as planned.
The status of two afternoon flights was considered unknown - but that had happened in Pskov in previous days.
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The background to the cancellation is likely to remain in the dark for the time being, but could, among other things, fuel unproven speculation about Putin's state of health.
In the meantime, Peskov had prepared demands for Ukraine in his press briefing.
According to Tass, the Russian President himself promised to make up for the visit at the appointment in the afternoon.
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Fancy a voyage of discovery?
In any case, mockery of the short trip to the border region had already been voiced in neighboring Estonia.
"The Russian dictator's visit was probably intended to show Putin's bravery, but in fact it is a piece from the Hall of Mirrors," Estonian MEP Riho Terras sneered at the
While the Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelenskyj visits the front in Bakhmut, Putin opens a factory.
In fact, in 2022, Putin did not visit the war zone.