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Minsk - Putin Injured Spine in Judo Bout: Belarus President

Published on: November 27, 2012 07:26 PM
By: Reuters
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Photo: APPhoto: AP

Minsk - Russian President Vladimir Putin’s back troubles stem from a recent bout of judo, according to the leader of the neighbouring state of Belarus.

“I know he has this problem. He loves judo. He lifted a guy, threw him, and twisted his spine,” Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko told Reuters in an interview.

Lukashenko had been hoping to play ice hockey with Putin but the Kremlin leader postponed the match, he said.

“He tells me: ‘We are not prepared yet to take on your team.’ He has damaged his spine somewhere. In a judo match. He was on the mat and hurt his spine,” Lukashenko said.

Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov declined to comment. The former Soviet republic of Belarus has close but sometimes rocky relations with its former colonial master.

Putin, a judo black belt who began a six-year presidential term in May and turned 60 in October, was seen limping at an Asia-Pacific summit in the Russian port of Vladivostok in early September.


A former KGB officer who enjoys vast authority at the head of Russia’s so-called ‘vertical’ power structure, Putin has long cultivated a tough-guy image that wouldn’t sit well with prolonged illness.

Three government sources told Reuters in late October that Putin was suffering from back trouble. Several foreign trips which had been expected around that time but were never officially announced by the Kremlin have not taken place, including a trip to India.

The Kremlin dismissed talk that Putin had a serious back problem and that he might require surgery.

Putin has held regular meetings with officials but has not traveled throughout November. The Kremlin acknowledged that he had suffered a sports-related injury but gave no details.

The Russian leader is expected to resume foreign travel in December, Kremlin sources say.

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Read Comments (5)  —  Post Yours »


 Nov 27, 2012 at 07:39 PM Listen, Vladimir..... Says:

The swimming pool is a great place to naturally decompress one's spine. Putin should take pressure off his back by putting one of those foam noodles under his arms and hanging from it in the deep end of the pool. He should not let his feet touch the ground. Just hang there for at least 10-15 minutes. Works magically. Naturally decompresses the vertebrae. Such relief for a bothersome back.

Oh, and Vladimir, stop with the judo already. Use your saychel. You're not a kid anymore, you know.


 Nov 27, 2012 at 08:48 PM Listen, big expert Says:

For some issues the pool is great. For others it is not the answer. it takes an expert closely attending to symptoms and possibly some imaging to know what is wrong and what will help.
I do agree that age counts and it might be prudent to lay off the judo unless you get younger.


 Nov 27, 2012 at 09:37 PM Anonymous Says:

Putin should try ballet instead.


 Nov 28, 2012 at 08:47 AM MarkTwain2 Says:

All the kings horses and all the kings men couldn't Putin back together again.


 Nov 28, 2012 at 09:02 AM Shtarker Says:

Reminds me of another tough guy - Pharoah - who also couldn't live up to the image he cultivated among his people.


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