Putin appears in public after health rumors soar

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MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday made his first public appearance since speculation about his health rose sharply last week.

Mr. Putin marked the national Unity Day holiday by laying flowers at the monument in Red Square commemorating the organizers of fighters who drove out Polish-Lithuanian occupiers in 1612.

Mr. Putin has cancelled some expected trips abroad and made few journeys to the Kremlin in recent weeks. A newspaper report last week said Mr. Putin had injured himself in a widely publicized flight in a motorized hang glider in September.

His spokesman said Mr. Putin was suffering from a pulled muscle, but denied it was connected to the flight.

Mr. Putin walked slowly but without assistance to the monument, and his condition was unclear.

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