The Kremlin has moved to reassure Russians that Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev did not feign illness in a bid to skip top level government meetings.
Presidential spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said that Medvedev was likely unable to attend a gathering of the Russian security council due to a busy schedule.
Russian President Vladimir Putin told officials on Tuesday that the Prime Minister had been forced to miss the meeting thanks to a bout of flu.
“The [country's flu] epidemic is in decline, but the situation is still serious: Dmitry Anatolyevich has not been spared,” Putin announced.
Patriotic Russians worried for Medvedev's health were later shocked by photos of the Prime Minister on Instagram enjoying the elite Russian ski resort of Arkhyz.
The snaps, which showed the politician enjoying a coffee with Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Khloponin, left some Russians asking if their second-in-command had pulled a sneaky sick day to enjoy the finer things in life.
Peskov reassured reporters that despite Tuesday's cancelled meetings, Medvedev was back on form just 24 hours later to hold a meeting with Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan.
"I have no more specific data [on Medvedev's illness]," Peskov said.