Putin's joke about 'drunk' journalist in spotlight after reports man is stroke survivor

Russian president suggested man asking question about Kvas was drunk

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The Independent Online

A journalist who Vladimir Putin jokingly said appeared drunk during a televised press conference has reportedly suffered two strokes.

The man chose his moment with the microphone to ask a question about kvas, a mildly alcoholic fermented bread drink, during the lengthy question-and-answer session with the Russian President.

According to a translation by journalist Alec Luhn, Putin quipped: "I see you've already partaken in your kvas”, causing the audience to break into laughter.

Journalists also described the man as "apparently drunk" after the exchange. 

Russia Today later tweeted a correction after reporting Putin’s response to the journalist it described as “apparently drunk”, saying: “Kirov journo who asked Putin about Kvas [was] NOT drunk – survived multiple strokes.”

Putin then went onto praise his question, adding that it is much better than Coca-Cola, which "some experts say is harmful for children".

However, it has now emerged that the man has apparently suffered two strokes and survived a head injury.

The Russian news site LifeNews and Gazeta reported the strokes and injury in an interview with his colleague, according to The Washington Post.

The three-hour conference also saw the President answer questions ranging from economic recovery to concerns over his love life, with Mr Putin at one point assuring a journalist: "I have people who love me, everything is just fine, don’t worry".

He even went into detail about his ex-wife, saying he had “very good relations” with her, but would like to see his children more.