Putin has been dogged by claims of his ill health in recent months, as evidenced by videos of his bloated face and constant gripping for support.
There is growing speculation about the state of Vladimir Putin’s healthafter a resurfaced video from two months ago showed the Russian President with a shaking hand and firmly gripping his chair for support.
The clip, which was reportedly filmed on February 18, just days before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, showed Putin welcoming Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko at the Kremlin. The 69-year-old Russian strongman has been dogged by claims of his deteriorating health in recent months, as evidenced by videos of his bloated face and constant gripping for support.
Putin is seen in the February video welcoming his Belarusian ally when his hand appears to tremble violently. He pulls his arm towards his body in an apparent attempt to stop the shaking, but almost stumbles as he walks toward Lukashenko. While sitting on a chair later, Putin is unable to remain still and constantly fidgets while gripping the arm for support. The resurfaced video has rekindled rumors about his potential illness, including claims that he’s battling Parkinson’s, dementia, or cancer.
Putin also appeared bloated and was seen gripping a table during a televised meeting with his defense minister Sergei Shoigu last week when they discussed the “liberation” of Mariupol. Footage from the event showed Putin gripping the edge of the table with his right hand and constantly tapping his foot while speaking to Shoigu, who also appeared to slur his words and read from his notes following a recent heart attack.
Swedish economist Anders Aslund, a former adviser to Ukraine and Russia, said the clip showed both Putin and Shoigu “depressed and seemingly in bad health.” Taking to Twitter, Aslund wrote, “Shoigu has to read his comments to Putin and slurs badly, suggesting that the rumors of his heart attack are likely. He sits badly. Poor performance.”
“It’s an astonishingly weakened Putin compared to the man we observed even a few years ago,” Texas-based body language expert Prof. Erik Bucy told The Sun. “An able-bodied president would not need to keep himself propped up with a hand held out for leverage and would not be concerned about keeping both feet planted on the ground.” He added, “This is not a portrait of a healthy Putin but one appearing increasingly feeble and barely able to hold himself upright at a small conference table.”
And while attending an Orthodox Easter service in Moscow this past weekend, the typically steadfast Putin was seen in video fidgeting and biting his lip. Some said the behavior was a sign of his state of mind during the war with Ukraine, while others offered he may be suffering from Parkinson’s disease.
Professor Gwythian Prins, former government defense and NATO adviser, told ‘Good Morning Britain’ over the weekend that he was “persuaded by a lot of medical advice that [Putin] is an ill man and the most persuasive diagnosis is that he has early Parkinsonia. I happen to live with a clinical neurological psychologist – my wife – who has spent 30 years dealing with people who have had degenerative brain diseases.” According to Prins, those with Parkinson’s often show “all or nothing thinking” and that prevents them from assimilating information rationally.