Vladimir Putin’s health has come under scrutiny in recent months with speculation that he may be battling cancer
Fresh speculation about Vladimir Putin’s health has been sparked after he was spotted coughing with a blanket over his legs at the Victory Day Parade in Russia.
The Russian president was seen keeping warm with the heavy blanket while surveying the parade, though other senior Kremlin officials below him felt no need for one – adding to concerns that Putin’s health could be deteriorating.
While his mental health has been questioned over the decision to invade Ukraine, his physical health has also been the subject of intense debate in recent weeks.
Putin was filmed during a meeting with Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, where the two discussed Mariupol on April 21.
He appeared to look “bloated” and was spotted holding on to the corner of his desk.
However, new questions are now being raised about his health due to his appearance at the event on the day Russia effectively ended World War II.
What was said about Putin’s health?
A user on Twitter tweeted the blanket used by President Putin: “President Vladimir Putin casts aside his Russian woolen blanket to stride manfully into the unknown.”
While another joked that “Putin stole a blanket from a veteran” after noting that few others had one.
Putin’s behavior during the meeting, where he was seen holding on to the corner of the table, has attracted attention.
He was slumped in a chair and seemed to have no energy.
The Russian President also looked pale.
During the meeting, the couple spoke about the besieged Ukrainian city of Mariupol. One of the last bases of the Ukrainian Armed Forces in the city is a steel factory. Putin told his defense minister it was “inadvisable” to storm it and ordered him to cancel it. He went on to “congratulate” him on the military operation in the city.
He said: “You have successfully completed the combat effort to liberate Mariupol. Let me congratulate you on this occasion and please convey my congratulations to the troops.”
Metro reports that Anders Aslund, a Swedish economist and former adviser on Russia and Ukraine, said neither Mr Putin nor Mr Shoigu, who read his address from a piece of paper, looked good during their meeting, and both described them as “depressed and depressed” described as apparently in poor health”.
“Shoigu needs to read his comments to Putin and swears badly, suggesting the rumors of his heart attack are likely. He sits badly. Poor performance.”
There has been a spate of rumors about Putin’s health, with previous images of him sitting at a bizarrely long table as he held meetings with senior world leaders and military commanders.
What has been said so far?
Previously, retired Royal Navy admiral Chris Parry said he believes President Putin may be battling cancer, suggesting it may be this alleged disease that prompted the decision to go ahead with the war.
His comments came during a debate in Portsmouth on March 4th and were reported by our sister title The news.
In an hour-long seminar at Portsmouth Grammar School, the senior naval officer spoke to youngsters and explained where he thought the war between Putin and Ukraine might be headed.
He said he believes President Putin may be battling cancer, which prompted him to invade Ukraine.
“He used these very long tables to interview people,” Falkland veteran Rear Admiral Parry said.
He added: “I think his immune system might be suppressed at the moment.
“So he’s a man in a hurry.”
People who take immunosuppressive drugs, such as cancer patients or those with chronic conditions, are known to be at a higher risk of developing a severe case of Covid.
There has been speculation as to whether this is behind Putin’s decision to sit meters away from foreign leaders and even his own colleagues.
In February, the Russian leader was photographed speaking to French President Emmanuel Macron over a 13-foot table.
His extreme measures have sparked rumors that the leader is afraid of catching Covid because he is vulnerable to a serious infection.
Does Putin have cancer?
Several newspapers have suggested that Putin may also have cancer.
That Daily Star quotes an unnamed US intelligence source as claiming his “bloated face,” seen in recent photos, was a side effect of chemotherapy drugs or steroids.
The source said: “In the past we’ve seen him smile but in 2022 there are few pictures where he looks happy.
“His glare suggests he’s in pain, and our people suspect his angry glare is most likely due to him being in pain.
“Our people are confident he is ill – he is concerned about Covid as he keeps his staff at a distance.”
There has been much speculation over the years about the health of the Russian president, despite the leader attending photo ops, playing ice hockey or practicing his beloved judo.
Valery Solovei, a political scientist and former head of the public relations department at Moscow’s State Institute of International Relations, has previously claimed that Putin has cancer as well as symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
He claimed Putin underwent emergency surgery in February 2020.
Another Russian source further claimed it was abdominal cancer surgery.
In 2020, Professor Solovei spoke about Putin’s health trauma: “One is psycho-neurological in nature, the other is a cancer problem.
“The second diagnosis is much, much more dangerous than the first diagnosis because Parkinson’s does not threaten the physical condition, it only limits public appearances.”
He added: “But there is a fatal diagnosis.”
The Kremlin has not commented on the speculation that Putin is ill.
Is Putin’s face puffier?
In recent weeks, Putin appeared to be looking significantly more bloated in the face and neck – suggesting he may be undergoing steroid treatment for a health condition.
In pictures released by the Kremlin, he was described as “ashen and bloated.”
The 69-year-old president looked pale and untrained as his forces began invading neighboring Ukraine.
Side effects of steroids include an increased risk of infection – which could allegedly explain his paranoia about contracting Covid. They can also trigger “mood and behavior changes.”
According to Macmillan Cancer Support, high doses of steroids can cause confusion or even changes in thinking.
Fiona Hill, the former British White House expert on Russia, told Politico: “Putin doesn’t look that great, he had a pretty puffy face.
“We know he has complained about back problems.”
She added: “While it’s nothing serious, it could be that he’s on high doses of steroids or it could be something else.
“There seems to be an urgency to this, which may also be driven by personal factors.”
What could Putin do next?
Speaking to children at Portsmouth Grammar School, Rear Admiral Parry warned of how far Putin could go in invading Ukraine.
“What I think will happen is that he will occupy Ukraine east of the Dnieper (river), he will completely occupy that region known as ‘New Russia’ at the bottom of the country and cut off Ukraine from the Black Sea, and he will leave this rest of the northwest, west of Kyiv, to its own devices as long as it remains neutral,” he said.
He warned that Putin could try to create a new land bridge in southern Ukraine, encircling Crimea (which Russia annexed in 2014) with Ukraine’s naval port of Odessa to the west and Russia to the east.
The Navy veteran also warned that Putin might not stop there, as Moldova might be on his radar for an invasion.
“I think that’s his next goal,” he added.
Moldova is not a member of NATO but has ties with the organization through the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council.
She has no active plans to become a member of the organization and is constitutionally neutral.
A message from the editor:
Thank you for reading. Mazic News is a new national news brand produced by a team of journalists, editors, video producers and designers who live and work across the UK. Learn more about who is who in the team, and ours editorial values. We want to build a community among our readers, so please keep following us Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and keep the conversation going. You can also Sign up for our newsletter and get a curated selection of our best books delivered to your inbox every day.