The speculation about Russian President Vladimir Putin’s health went into overdrive when a video of a meeting between Putin and his Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu was released by the Kremlin showing Putin looking bloated and fiercely gripping a table while nervously tapping his feet.
Putin was not looking at all well today. People have particularly noted his hunched position and the fact he never let go of the table during the entire 12-minute meeting with Shoigu. (Source: @SvobodaRadio.) pic.twitter.com/cjPyNh0l9F
— Timothy Phillips (@TSJPhillips) April 21, 2022
It has been reported that Shoigu had suffered a “massive” heart attack in March. It’s also been reported that he had been under house arrest for the failures of the Russian military. In the video, Shoigu doesn’t look too good himself.
The clip shows Putin and his key adviser “both depressed & seemingly in bad health,” tweeted Anders Aslund, a Swedish economist who was previously an adviser to Russia.
Shoigu is also rumored to be suffering health woes.
“Here you can see him gripping the table so that his shaking hand is not visible but he cannot stop his foot from tapping,” she wrote.
I recall the commotion made over the health of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei when he looked a little shaky during a public event. And remember the recent reports that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un had died?
Other reports have suggested that Putin has recently had 35 secret meetings with a cancer doctor — and been bathing in the blood of deer antlers. The Kremlin has denied he has the disease.
Professor Erik Bucy, a body language expert from Texas Tech University, noted to The Sun that Putin’s face looked clearly bloated, saying it “reinforces an unhealthy appearance.”
“It’s an astonishingly weakened Putin compared to the man we observed even a few years ago,” Bucy told the outlet.
“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.”
Putin is not going to run around bare-chested again anytime soon. That Putin of 10 years ago looked like he could wrestle a rhinoceros. But professional Kremlin watchers — for all their knowledge and expertise — are still just guessing. In this case, their speculation may be more accurate than in other instances.
Ten years can take a toll on even the strongest man like Putin. He has been in a position of power and responsibility for more than 20 years. “It’s not the years, it’s the mileage,” said Indiana Jones. Twenty years at the top of a cutthroat regime, constantly on guard against assassins, would wear anyone down.
Putin will be 70 this October. At this point, it would be surprising that he isn’t having serious health problems.
Here’s a longer clip in which you can see his feet tapping even more: