Watch Vladimir Putin Mistake Stroke Survivor for Drunken Journalist

Double-stroke victim jokes along with Russian president.

ByABC News
December 18, 2014, 11:57 AM

MOSCOW— -- During his annual marathon news conference, Russian President Vladimir Putin today mistook a stroke victim for a drunk.

He attempted to call on a Turkish reporter, but instead a reporter from the Russian region of Kirov stood up. The lively reporter, identified as Vladimir Mamatov, slurred his words slightly as he asked why the traditional Russian drink, kvas, can’t compete with Coca-Cola and Pepsi for shelf space in stores.

Kirov is famous for its production of kvas, a lightly alcoholic beverage of fermented bread.

“Kvas?” Putin asked. “I feel you’ve already thrown back some kvas.”

As the audience roared with laughter, Mamatov explained that he wanted to bring some in for Putin to taste, but that security would not allow it.

“I got it. You do not have a taster,” Mamatov said. “My question is this. We make a lot of this kvas, we make it well and for long time.”

“Yes, I see this,” Putin said, chuckling.

But Mamatov had apparently suffered two strokes and was not drunk, according to Kremlin-friendly LifeNews.

After the news conference, Mamatov stood outside the conference center that hosted the event smoking a cigarette and sipping a bottle of kvas.

ABC News' Tanya Stukalova contributed to this report.