Vladimir Putin health: Footage shows ‘sick’ fidgety leader as Parkinson’s rumours explode

Putin's hand appears to shake before he meets with Lukashenko

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In a meeting with Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko, Putin appears to be struggling to control his hand, which is shaking, by pulling it into his body. He is later seen grabbing the arm of the chair he is sitting on and grabbing his chair.

The footage, which has now come to light, has prompted the return of speculation over the state of the Russian President’s health.

Putin’s actions have been described as “awkward” yet necessary “for support”.

Reports have suggested Putin can be seen grabbing chair arms and tapping his feet, perhaps in a sign of discomfort, in other, more recent televised meetings.

This, alongside claims his face is more bloated than it has been in the past, and his posture more slouched, has been used to suggest Putin is suffering from a major illness.

One of the most prominent accusations is that Putin has Parkinson’s.

This was the view of former MI6 head Sir Richard Dearlove, who, quoted in The Week, said the “best explanation” for his behaviour “is that he may have Parkinson’s”.

He added: “That certainly I’ve head from several neurologists who say that loss of restraint, psychosis, are very common Parkinson’s symptoms.”

The claim has, however, not been proved, and has previously been denied by the Kremlin.

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Another widely-circulation claim is that the President has cancer.

The Telegraph last month reported that rumours have circulation Putin may be “suffering from cancer, a brain tumour or may have developed an addiction to steroids”.

Former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told Fox News just after the invasion of Ukraine was launched: “[Putin] was always calculating and cold. But this is different.

“He seems erratic.”

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The view Putin’s actions may be about more than his physical health was touched on by former adviser to Russia and Ukraine Anders Aslund.

He said Putin, in a meeting with Russia’s Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, looked not only in “bad health” but “depressed”.

Reports must, however, be taken with a pinch of salt due to the lack of verified information on the subject.

Sky News correspondent Alistair Bunkall, quoted in The Week, highlighted in March there is, in fact, “nothing factual to suggest [Putin] is ill”.

He added speculation will occur due to the more broad “search for reason behind his actions in Ukraine”.

The logic goes that the invasion of Russia’s neighbouring country was so illogical, there must be other reasons behind it.

But each new or reemerging video of Putin grabbing onto a char arm, in an apparent bid to receive support, adds to the speculation he is suffering from ill health, and that at least some of his decisions are guided by this.

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