Russian President Vladimir Putin, front centre, speaks with guests and religious leaders of various faiths after a ceremony at the statue of Minin and Pozharsky, the leaders of a struggle against foreign invaders in 1612, to mark the National Unity Day, at the Red Square in Moscow, Sunday, Nov. 4, 2012. The new holiday was created in 2005 to replace the traditional Nov. 7 celebration of the 1917 Bolshevik rise to power. The Kremlin has tried to give it historical significance by tying it to the 1612 expulsion of Polish and Cossack troops who briefly seized Moscow at a time of political disarray. But it has been seized upon by extreme nationalists. (AP Photo/ Misha Japaridze)
MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin has made his first public appearance since speculation about his health rose sharply last week.
Putin on Sunday 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.
Putin has cancelled some expected trips abroad and made few journeys to the Kremlin in recent weeks. A newspaper report last week said Putin had injured himself in a widely publicized flight in a motorized hang-glider in September.
His spokesman said Putin was suffering from a pulled muscle, but denied it was connected to the flight.
Putin walked slowly but without assistance to the monument and his condition was unclear.