Kremlin Dismisses Conspiracy Theories About Putin Hiding From COVID-19 in ‘Sochi Bunker’

The Kremlin has denied that President Vladimir Putin has been living in a bunker since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. His spokesman said, on Sunday, that he has been working from home at his residence outside Moscow, RT reports.

Last week, the Lithuania-based news outlet Proekt Media accused Putin of “hiding in a bunker,” despite having made visits to both St. Petersburg and Sochi in recent weeks. The publication also claimed that the president built two identical offices, one in Sochi itself, so that nobody knows his true location.

Putin began working remotely at the start of April, when the number of Covid-19 infections started to pick up. In that time, he has remained careful, taking regular tests and extra precautions. However, the Kremlin has firmly denied that the president is hiding away.

“Putin now lives in Novo-Ogaryovo, in fact, the same place he lived before the pandemic,” spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, speaking to journalist Nailya Asker-Zade. “He lives there, he often works there, and comes from there to the Kremlin – but not as often as he would like.”

Built in the 1950s, Novo-Ogaryovo is an estate in the Odintsovsky District of the Moscow Region, and operates as a residence for the Russian president. During the USSR, it was used as a government ‘dacha’ and retreat for hosting guests and receptions.