Vladimir Putin has again been pictured tightly gripping a chair and shuffling his feet amid on-going speculation about the Russian president’s health.
Footage from Putin’s Tuesday meeting with Miguel Díaz-Canel, the president of Cuba and leader of the country’s communist party, showed the Russian despot sitting awkwardly in his chair as the pair spoke in front of the cameras.
Despite his public appearances being carefully stage-managed by the Kremlin’s propagandists, signs that Putin, 70, is suffering from health problems have been visible on numerous occasions this year – fuelling speculation and rumours.
Pictured: Vladimir Putin is seen during a meeting with President of Cuba Miguel Diaz-Canel (left), during which he tightly gripped his chair with his left hand and shuffled his feet
Putin’s left hand is seen wrapped tightly around the arm of the white chair he is sitting on, as if to try and stabilise himself. Meanwhile, Putin’s right hand appears to be fiddling with something, and he taps his feet and shuffles them across the flowery carpet
In the latest example, a puffy-faced Putin is seen smiling gingerly as he speaks with Díaz-Canel infront of a marble fireplace in Moscow.
His left hand is seen wrapped tightly around the arm of the white chair he is sitting on, as if to try and stabilise himself. Putin’s right hand appears to be fiddling with something, and he taps his feet and shuffles them across the flowery carpet.
On Wednesday, Putin was pictured in another meeting – this time with Dmitry Mazepin, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Uralchem Group, a Russian manufacturer. The pair sat opposite each other across a large wooden desk, which Putin has often used to conduct meetings.
As with his meeting with the Cuban president, the Russian president was in photographs tightly holding on to the edge of his desk, this time with his right hand.
Even before Vladimir Putin ordered his military forces to invade Ukraine on February 24, rumours have been swirling about the state of his health.
But with the added scrutiny faced by Putin since the start of the war, more signs that Putin is struggling with health issues have been spotted.
Pictured: Vladimir Putin (right) taps his feet as he meets with President of Cuba Miguel Diaz-Canel at the Kremlin in Russia on Tuesday
On Wednesday, Putin was pictured in another meeting – this time with Dmitry Mazepin, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Uralchem Group, a Russian manufacturer. The pair sat opposite each other across a large wooden desk, which Putin was seen gripping (left)
In July, the Russian president was pictured awkwardly swatting mosquitos from his face. That same month, he was seen hobbling from his presidential plane during the welcoming ceremony in Tehran.
Similarly, at a huge Victory Day parade in Moscow in May, the 70-year-old appeared to walk with a limp and had a blanket over his lap, while in April he was seen gripping a grand desk during a televised meeting with his defence minister.
Since then, several more of Putin’s televised meetings with other Kremlin officials – all from the same desk – have often shown him gripping the tabletop.
More recently, on November 4, Putin was seen in footage awkwardly laying flowers to mark a national holiday in Moscow’s Red Square.
He appeared to show signs of a limp as he approached the monument, and seemed uncomfortable as he bent down to lay the bouquet to mark Unity Day – a national holiday to mark Russia’s expulsion of invading forces in the early 1600s.
Meanwhile, claims have been circulating among opposition figures, fuelled by his unexplained absences and his shaky public appearances, that he is battling serious health problems but they have always been rubbished by the Kremlin.
APRIL 21: Putin is seen gripping his desk with his right hand while meeting Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu in the early stages of the war. Footage from the meeting raised questions about Putin’s health, which have only intensified since
MAY 9: the 70-year-old appeared to walk with a limp and had a blanket over his lap as he attended Russia’s 2022 victory day parade in Moscow
NOVEMBER 4: Putin appeared to show signs of a limp as he approached a monument, and seemed uncomfortable as he bent down to lay the bouquet
Earlier this month, emails from a Russian intelligence source appeared to confirm the he has been diagnosed with cancer and Parkinson’s, according to The Sun.
The leaked documents allegedly read: ‘I can confirm he has been diagnosed with early stage Parkinson’s disease, but it’s already progressing. This fact will be denied in every possible way and hidden.
‘Putin is regularly stuffed with all kinds of heavy steroids and innovative painkilling injections to stop the spread of pancreatic cancer he was recently diagnosed with.
‘It not only causes a lot of pain, Putin has a state of puffiness of the face and other side effects – including memory lapses.
‘In his close circle, there are rumours that in addition to pancreatic cancer, which is gradually spreading, Putin also has prostate cancer.’
The tyrant was recently spotted with apparent track marks from IV treatment on the back of his hand, adding further fuel to the fire.
Telegram channel General SVR has long been pushing the claims that Putin is suffering from cancer and Parkinson’s.
In late October, it reported that Putin’s relatives are concerned about coughing fits, constant nausea and a lack of appetite, after he allegedly underwent a medical examination.
His circle is worried that his ‘thinness and persistent cough’ is becoming noticeable and will be seen by elites in Russia as a ‘sign of the leader’s rapidly deteriorating health’.
Despite appearing considerably bloated and puffy in the face, the Russian president has lost 18lb in recent months, said the channel which purports to have sources inside the Kremlin.
Putin’s Tuesday meeting with his Cuban counterpart in Moscow saw the pair unveil a monument to Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro, and hail the ‘traditional friendship’ between their sanctions-hit nations.
Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermudez (left) and Russian President Vladimir Putin inaugurate a monument to late Cuban leader Fidel Castro in Moscow on November 22
A video published on the Kremlin’s website showed Putin and the Cuban head of state, Miguel Diaz-Canel y Bermudez, deliver speeches as Russian military guards flanked a bronze statue of Castro.
The late Castro embraced Soviet-style communism after taking a leading role in a revolution which in 1959 drove dictator Fulgencio Batista from power.
He went on to defy a crippling U.S. embargo and dozens of assassination plots during his half-century of rule on the island, before dying in 2016 at the age of 90.
Putin in a speech underscored Castro’s history of defiance, praising him for ‘selflessly defending the sovereignty of (his) native country’ and drawing parallels with Western sanctions imposed on Russia for its military campaign in Ukraine.
‘The Soviet Union and Russia have always, and continue to this day, to support the Cuban people in their struggle for independence, sovereignty. We have always stood against any sorts of restrictions, embargoes, blockades and so on.
‘We have always supported Cuba on the international stage and we see that Cuba takes the same position towards Russia,’ Putin said.
Trade between Cuba and Russia was about $500 million in 2019, as indicated by Russia’s then-Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov during a visit to the island that year.
Cuban state media reported Diaz-Canel’s agenda will focus on the energy sector, very sensitive for the island as it battles shortages of food, medicines and fuel.
Hours-long daily blackouts have occurred in Cuba’s largest cities, sparking protests.
The Cuban government has acknowledged the problem and accused U.S. sanctions, which were tightened under former President Donald Trump, of causing poverty and indirectly fueling protests.
Havana’s main regional political ally, Venezuela, has sold the island the oil Cuba needed for the past two decades. Cuba only produces half the oil it needs for its economy.
From the 1960s to the 1990s, the Soviet Union offered Cuba many vital imports: fertilizers, industrial equipment, spare parts and, above all, oil in exchange for sugar.
When the old alliance collapsed in the 1990s, Cuba owed Russia some $35 billion in debt, 90 percent of which was forgiven by the Putin administration in 2014. The balance was refinanced.