Vladimir Putin Jokes Stroke Survivor Journalist Is Drunk

In the middle of his annual press conference designed to restore some standing as Russia's currency plummets, Vladimir Putin suffered a pretty spectacular fail.

He was asked by a journalist from Kirov about why Kvas, the area's mildly alcoholic drink, is not more widely stocked by supermarkets across Russia.

Putin joked the journalist seemed to be drunk himself - to laughter in the hall. But it turned out the journalist had actually survived two strokes.

The journalist at the press conference

To be fair, many journalists in the hall made the same mistake.

And those are the ones who hadn't, as this article went live, deleted their tweets.

At least RT, the broadcaster accused of spouting pro-Kremlin propaganda, apologised on Twitter after live-tweeting the comment with apparent relish.

It is not the first time a president has embarrassed himself by opening his mouth without stopping to think whether the person he was speaking to was disabled.

In 2006, George W. Bush was asked a question about leaks from the CIA by a partially-blind reporter who had to wear sunglasses to protect his eyes from glare.

"Are you going to ask that question with shades on?" was Bush's reply.