Putin forced to self-isolate as COVID hits his inner circle

Moscow — Russian President Vladimir Putin is going into self-isolation because of coronavirus cases in his inner circle, the Kremlin said Tuesday. The announcement came in the Kremlin’s readout of Putin’s phone call with the Tajik President Emomali Rahmon.

Putin has been fully vaccinated with the Russian coronavirus vaccine Sputnik V — he received his second shot in April.

Russian President Putin observes "Zapad-2021" military exercise in Nizhny Novgorod Region
Russian President Vladimir Putin (center), Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu (left) and Chief of the General Staff of Russian Armed Forces Valery Gerasimov visit the Mulino training ground to observe the military exercises “Zapad-2021” staged by the armed forces of Russia and Belarus in Nizhny Novgorod Region, Russia, September 13, 2021. Sputnik/Sergei Savostyanov/Pool via REUTERS

On Monday, the Russian president attended several public events. He met with the Russian Paralympians, attended military exercises conducted in coordination with Belarus, and met with Syrian President Bashar Assad. 

Asked if Putin tested negative for the virus, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, “of course, yes.”

While the Russian leader has not tested positive for the coronavirus himself, this is the second time his daily routine has been disrupted by COVID-19.

In the spring of 2020, with the virus running rampant around the world, Putin worked remotely for several weeks as a few of his cabinet members and his spokesman tested positive for the COVID-19.

Russia reports surge in COVID deaths 02:52