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Putin injury 'not linked to cranes'

Did Vladimir Putin's flight with a flock of cranes end up grounding him? The Russian president's spokesman says no.

In recent weeks, Mr Putin has rarely left his official residence, sparking speculation that illness or injury had laid him low.

Today, the respected newspaper Vedomosti cited unnamed Kremlin-connected sources saying Mr Putin's September flight in a motorised hang-glider accompanying migrating cranes had aggravated an old injury.

But his spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Mr Putin had an old injury, but it was not connected to the highly publicised flight.

He said Mr Putin was making only infrequent trips to the Kremlin because he did not want his motorcade to disrupt Moscow's notoriously bad traffic.

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