Vladimir Putin is seen with a shaking hand and firmly gripping his chair in video captured two months ago – adding to mounting speculation over the state of the Russian president’s health.
The clip, which was taken on February 18, just before the onset of his invasion of Ukraine, shows him welcoming fellow strongman Alexander Lukashenko at the Kremlin.
The Russian president has been dogged by claims of his failing health in recent months, fueled by footage of his bloated face, slouching posture, and constant gripping for support.
Resurfaced footage of a wobbling Vladimir Putin has sparked fresh health rumours for the tyrant who shakes his hand uncontrollably
He pulls it into his body in an attempt to quell the shakes, but then he almost stumbles as he unsteadily walks towards Lukashenko
In the video taken in February, Putin is seen standing up awaiting his Belarusian ally as his hand starts to violently tremble.
He pulls it into his body in an attempt to quell the shakes, but then he almost stumbles as he unsteadily walks towards Lukashenko.
Later, Putin sits on a chair but is unable to remain still, constantly fidgeting and tapping his feet while he grips onto the arm for support.
The resurfaced clip will do little to dampen the rumours about his potential illness, amid rumours he is battling Parkinson’s, dementia or cancer.
A bloated Vladimir Putin has been seen gripping a table whilst slouching in his chair during a televised meeting with his defence minister amid rumours the Russian strongman is battling cancer.
Later, Putin sits on a chair but is unable to remain still, constantly fidgeting and tapping his feet while he grips onto the arm for support
He alternates his right and left hand holding on to the chair as he continuously lifts his feet up and down
Last week, he made a rare live appearance with defence minister Sergei Shoigu where they discussed the ‘liberation’ of Mariupol.
Putin’s poor posture and his apparently bloated face and neck sparked speculation about the Russian leader’s health, which has reportedly been in decline since his invasion.
Video showed Putin speaking to Shoigu whilst gripping the edge of the table with his right hand – so hard that it appears white – and tapping his foot consistently.
Shoigu does not appear to have fared any better in the eight weeks since Russia invaded Ukraine, with the defence minister slurring his words and reading from his notes following an apparent heart attack.
A bloated Vladimir Putin has been seen gripping a table whilst slouching in his chair during a televised meeting with his defence minister Sergei Shoigu amid rumours the Russian strongman is battling cancer. Shoigu does not appear to have fared any better in the eight weeks since Russia invaded Ukraine, with the defence minister slurring his words and reading from his notes following an apparent heart attack
But Putin’s poor posture and his apparently bloated face and neck sparked speculation about the Russian leader’s health, which has reportedly been in decline since his invasion of Ukraine
Vladimir Putin’s five medically-related disappearances
November 2012: Business trips and long-distance flights of the president are canceled, some of Putin’s meetings shown by the Kremlin turn out to be ‘canned food’
March 5 – 15, 2015: Putin does not appear in public, all meetings are ‘canned’ – in other words pre-recorded events were shown with the pretence they were in real time
August 9-16, 2017: The President, with journalists, visits Abkhazia and Sochi, and then for a week the Kremlin publishes only ‘canned food’
February 2018: In the midst of an election campaign, the president cancels public events. Peskov admits that the head of state ‘had a cold’
September 13-29, 2021: Putin goes into ‘self-isolation’, all events are held via video link
Anders Aslund, a Swedish economist and former adviser to Ukraine and Russia, said the video showed both Putin and Shoigu ‘depressed and seemingly in bad health’.
‘Shoigu has to read his comments to Putin and slurs badly, suggesting that the rumours of his heart attack are likely. He sits badly. Poor performance.’
Professor Erik Bucy, a body language expert from Texas Tech University, told The Sun Online: ‘It’s an astonishingly weakened Putin compared to the man we observed even a few years ago.
‘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.’
‘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,’ Bucy added.
Putin’s bloated face and neck has sparked claims he is undergoing steroid treatment, whilst reports have suggested Putin is ‘constantly’ accompanied by a doctor specialising in thyroid cancer.
Surgeon Yevgeny Selivanov, of Moscow’s Central Clinical Hospital, has flown to the Russian leader no less than 35 times in Black Sea resort Sochi, his favourite place of residence.
The respected doctor’s thesis – showing his area of medical expertise – was entitled: ‘Peculiarities of diagnostics and surgical treatment of elderly and senile patients with thyroid cancer’.
‘Shoigu has to read his comments to Putin and slurs badly, suggesting that the rumours of his heart attack are likely. He sits badly. Poor performance,’ Anders Aslund, a Swedish economist and former adviser to Ukraine and Russia, said
Some have claimed Shoigu and Putin’s poor health is due to the faltering invasion of Ukraine.
During the televised meeting, Putin hailed the ‘liberation’ of Mariupol as a ‘success’ for Russian forces, and ordered a siege of the Azovstal plant.
‘There is no need to climb into these catacombs and crawl underground through these industrial facilities. Block off this industrial area so that not even a fly can escape,’ Putin said.
Questions have also emerged over whether Putin really attended an Orthodox Easter service in Moscow this past weekend after pictures issued by the Kremlin bore a startling resemblance to images from last year.
The images, purportedly taken one year apart, appear to show Putin dressed in the same suit and look extremely similar – the only clearly discernible difference being the colour of his tie.
Putin is believed to have attended the midnight Easter service to mark Orthodox Easter on Sunday morning – April 24 – alongside Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin at Moscow’s huge gold-encrusted Christ the Saviour Cathedral.
But images and video footage of the event have been seized upon by opposition media in Russia and Ukraine, suggesting the new clips were faked from last year’s service on May 2, 2021.
There are only subtle differences in lighting and the colour of Putin’s tie between both sets of images from the Easter service, prompting suggestions that the images have been manipulated (Putin at Easter service in 2021 pictured left. 2022 image is pictured right)
Putin (L) is believed to have attended the midnight Easter service to mark Orthodox Easter on Sunday morning – April 24 – alongside Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin (R) at Moscow’s huge gold-encrusted Christ the Saviour Cathedral
He appeared to chew the insides of his mouth, shifting uncomfortably, adding to a swirl of commentary that the pressure of Russian setbacks over the war in Ukraine
There are only subtle differences in lighting and the colour of Putin’s tie between both sets of images from the Easter service, prompting suggestions that the images have been manipulated.
‘Putin is standing in the same suit and with the same candle as on May 2, 2021,’ reported Russian outlet The Village.
‘This is evidenced by a photo report from the temple on the Kremlin website.’
Opposition investigative media Agentstvo also claimed that this year’s footage of Putin attending the ceremony – an appearance he makes annually – seemed to have been distorted.
‘In the broadcast of the Easter service from the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, Putin seemed to disappear for a moment,’ said the outlet.
‘This happened during the switching of shots, from a close-up with the president to a more general one…
‘The place where Putin should be seems to be empty.’
The claims were set upon by Ukrainian Ministry of Internal Affairs adviser Anton Herashchenko, who said: ‘Putin’s directors were again caught using video editing and [manipulation].
‘This time at the broadcast of the Easter service.’
Telegram channel Mozhem Obyasnit (We Can Explain) posted: ‘Putin-2022 at the service in the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour is almost indistinguishable from Putin-2021.
‘Social media users, having studied the photos, doubted that the President attended a public event.’
The channel urged followers to ‘spot the difference’ between Putin this year and last.
Some comments believe his face has changed since last year despite similar expressions.
Russian Orthodox leader Patriarch Kirill, who has supported his invasion of Ukraine, led the service. Eastern Orthodox churches observe the ancient Julian calendar, and this year celebrate the Orthodox Easter on April 24
‘Putin has the same hairstyle, almost the same facial expression, the same candle,’ said Mozhem Obyasnit.
‘Both are on the same background in the same aisle of the cathedral.
‘True, in 2021 Putin was sometimes shown against the backdrop of parishioners and priests, but this year, for some reason, they did not do this.
‘Social media users conclude that reports of Putin’s participation in this public event at the height of the war are illustrated with pictures from a peaceful 2021.’
During the service, when Patriarch Kirill – head of the Russian Orthodox Church – declared ‘Christ has risen’, Putin did not join in with the other members of the congregation to reply ‘truly he is risen,’ according to Reuters.
In the video, the typically stoic and steadfast Putin was shown grimacing, fidgeting and biting his lip. This was interpreted by some as a sign of his state of mind during the war, while others have posited he may be suffering from Parkinson’s disease.
‘I am persuaded by a lot of medical advice that he is an ill man and the most persuasive diagnosis is that he has early Parkinsonia,’ said former government defence and Nato adviser Professor Gwythian Prins, appearing on Good Morning Britain over the weekend.
‘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.’
He said people living with Parkinson’s often show ‘all or nothing thinking’ where they become disinhibited, stopping them from taking in information rationally.