Video footage of Russian President Vladimir Putin looking shaky, unsteady, and distracted, which went viral over the last few days has resurfaced rumors worldwide about the health of the 69-year-old leader.
Medical experts have suggested a string of theories ranging from Parkinson's disease to cancer and also include a condition stemming from the use of steroids, psychosis, or some other personality disorder.
During the brief footage of a religious Easter service Sunday (the Russian orthodox calendar applies), Putin was seen chewing his lips and fidgeting. The concerning clip comes just days after he was seen barely able to hold himself upright as he discussed the siege of Mariupol, a strategic port city in Ukraine, with Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu.
Another video showing Putin's hand trembling before a meeting with his Belarusian counterpart Aleksander Lukashenko has added to the mounting concerns. Putin has been pictured holding his hand up and shaking before he greets Lukashenko and embraces him.
Russia - Ukraine war: A new video showing Vladimir Putin awkwardly gripping a table for support has heightened suspicions that he is seriously ill.#Putin #Russia #Ukraine️— Herry (@HerryNapit) April 23, 2022
Video via https://t.co/5YbaYM6ZCS pic.twitter.com/HavNVrV0FF
Former Tory MP Louise Mensch had written Putin has Parkinson’s disease and here you can see him gripping the table so that his shaking hand is not visible but he cannot stop his foot from tapping. Putin also appears to walk with a stiff leg before taking a few steps forward.
In November 2020, political analyst Valery Solovei sparked theories that Putin could have cancer or Parkinson's after claiming that the Russian leader had gone through emergency surgery. He said at the time that Putin's health issues were one of a psycho-neurological nature and the other was a cancer problem. The Kremlin earlier this month denied that Putin had undergone surgery related to thyroid cancer, The Moscow Times reported April 1, despite previous reports which even gave the name of the expert treating the President.
Yevgeny Selivanov is a specialist in thyroid cancer among the elderly and senile from Moscow's Central Clinical Hospital. Selivanov was allegedly flown to see Putin at least 35 times in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.
Professor Erik Bucy, from Texas Tech University, had told the Sun Online that It’s an astonishingly weakened Putin compared to the man we observed even a few years ago. The specialist compared Putin's health to Richard Nixon's weak demeanor during a presidential debate against JFK in 1960 when he was recovering from a knee injury. He also pointed toward Putin's quite thin legs and bloated face, which could suggest weight or muscle loss due to an unconfirmed illness.
Putin has also been said to have taken steroids which make users more aggressive. Former foreign secretary Lord David Owen said he suspects steroid use due to changes in the shape of Putin's face, which could be caused by muscle-boosting drugs.
Other healthcare professionals have suggested that Putin's decision to avoid almost all contact since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic brought on signs of psychosis and a personality disorder.
A security source told the Mail on Sunday that “there has been an identifiable change in his decision-making over the past five years or so and that ”those around him see a marked change in the cogency and clarity of what he says and how he perceives the world around him.”
On April 1, the Russian news outlet Proekt also claimed Putin had been using an alternative therapy that involves bathing in blood extract from severed deer antlers.