Sunday, Nov 4, 2012 4:36 PM UTC

Putin appears in public after injury rumors

The Russian president reportedly injured himself in a hangglider incident

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.

Recently Putin announced that he would reverse some of the reforms introduced by his predecessor: