Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu had been missing from the public eye for nearly two weeks but was seen Thursday attending a virtual meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

In a short clip released by Russian-state-owned newsgroup RIA Novosti, Shoigu was seen at the top corner of a screen showing a meeting of Putin speaking to advisers.

Speculation about his whereabouts arose after reports from Russian news outlet Agenstvo began suggesting that Shoigu was in poor health.

The Kremlin shut down questions about his absence.

“The defense minister has a lot on his mind right now,” Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters. “A special military operation is underway. Now is not really the time for media activity, this is quite understandable.”

Peskov’s explanation came even though Shoigu had made regular media appearances up until March 11.

Peskov declined to refute Agenstvo‘s claims about the defense minister’s health, but advised, “You shouldn’t listen to the Agenstvo media outlet. Please address [these questions to] the Ministry of Defense.”

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