Shortly after his meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, Russian President Vladimir Putin held talks with Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko.
The meeting took place in Putin's residence by the Black Sea, following Lukashenko's arrival in the Russian city of Sochi. Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov stated that Belarus is Russia's closest ally and that the leaders meet regularly.
This year alone marks their seventh meeting. Lukashenko, a close ally of Moscow in the Ukraine war, has also made Belarusian territory available for Russian attacks on Ukraine.
A Kremlin insider stirred rumors about Putin's health, describing him as "half-dead" and suggesting that the meeting with Lukashenko could potentially be his last.
The insider, who communicates via the Telegram channel "General SVR," said the meeting was unremarkable except for the possibility that it might be their last.
Following the meeting, Putin took a break and rested over the weekend, abstaining from video conferences.
The identity of those behind the Telegram channel, which has been active since 2020, remains unclear but is believed to involve current and former members of Russia's foreign intelligence service (SVR) and other state agencies.