Who is Dmitry Kovalev? New name emerges as Putin’s possible successor amid declining health

After Kovalev was seen talking to Putin on May 9 at the Victory Day parade, reports about him being the Russian strongman's successor started surfacing


                            Who is Dmitry Kovalev? New name emerges as Putin’s possible successor amid declining health
Dmitry Kovalev (L) is reportedly a member of the Presidential Administration of Russia (Twitter)
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A new name has joined the pool of rumors surrounding Russian President Vladimir Putin's possible successor. Reports suggest that Dmitry Kovalev, who is a member of the Presidential Administration, could be a possible contender.

The 36-year-old was identified by Telegram channel Baza. After he was seen talking to Putin at Monday's Victory Day parade, reports about him being Putin's successor started surfacing. The speculation began as Putin is a private man who tends to keep his distance from most people, and does not talk to everyone. But is a mere conversation with Kovalev enough for people to make the assumption?

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"Baza found out the identity of a young man who talked about something with Vladimir Putin after the end of the Victory Parade. During the live broadcast, the camera caught their conversation. Some Telegram channels suggested that the young man is a future successor. Judging by the service for searching people by photo, Dmitry Kovalev is walking next to Putin, and he is 36 years old," Baza's translated post reads.

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"He is in charge of one of the departments of the Presidential Administration. There are a lot of hockey photos on Kovalev's page. It is possible that he met Putin due to their common love for the sport. Many people have been reported as being Putin's successors. So here are pictures of another such candidate," the post by the Telegram channel concludes.

Dmitry Kovalev (Baza/Telegram)

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In 2018, during his annual television call-in show, when Putin was asked about his successor, he said he was "always thinking about it." He added that it would be up to the Russian people to elect a new president. Associated Press reported that Putin also said he thinks about raising "a new generation of young managers" who will be in a position to take the helm in Russia.

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Last year, in an interview with NBC, Putin said, "You know, I have linked my entire life, my entire fate, to the fate of my country to such an extent that there isn't a more meaningful goal in my life than the strengthening of Russia. If anybody else, and if I see that person, even if that person is critical of some areas of what I have been doing, if I can see that this is an individual who has constructive views, that he or she is committed to this country and is prepared to sacrifice his entire life to this country, nor just some years, no matter his personal attitude to me, I will make sure, I will do everything to make sure, that such people will get support."

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With multiple reports of Putin's declining health, reports state that Kovalev might be the latest rumored heir apparent. Last week, reports about another possible candidate came up. 70-year-old Nikolai Patrushev, who is head of Putin's security council, was said to be a possible contender. Rumors of the Russian strongman being slated for surgery have also made the rounds, but the Kremlin has denied such claims.

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Reports have alleged that Putin is suffering from thyroid cancer, or Parkinson's disease, among other illnesses, due to his behavior during video-recorded sessions. An investigative report by independent Russian outlet The Project claimed that Putin bathes in the blood extracted from deer antlers. The baths are supposed to improve the cardiovascular system, rejuvenate the skin, and have a therapeutic effect, as per the report.

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