Not feeling well Vlad? Putin looks unsteady in Easter church service footage showing him biting lip and fidgeting as health rumours grow and war continues to go badly
- Watch the moment a nervous Putin bites his lip in footage of an Easter mass
- The Russian leader looked unsteady as rumours circles about his ailing health
- Russian Orthodox leader Patriarch Kirill, a supporter of Putin, led the service
- Experts have suggested Putin may be suffering from Parkinson’s disease
Vladimir Putin looked frail and unsteady at footage purporting to be from a midnight mass for Orthodox Easter, stoking rumours surrounding the Russian president’s ailing health.
He chewed his lip and appeared unsure of his footing as he stood in Moscow’s Christ the Saviour Cathedral alongside the city’s mayor Sergei Sobyanin.
A nervous-looking Putin bit his lip while attending the church service, fidgeting and appearing distracted while watching the church service.
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.
A dry mouth can be a symptom of Parkinson’s Disease.
The Russian president has seen rumours circling around his physical and mental fitness after footage emerged of him gripping the table in front of him during a meeting with one of his senior staff.
Putin, 69, was seen gripping the table and tapping his foot frantically, prompting the rumours of his mental deterioration.
The mass was led by Russian Orthodox leader Patriarch Kirill, who has supported his invasion of Ukraine.
Vladimir Putin attends the Orthodox Easter service in the Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow. The Russian president appeared unsteady and distracted during the ceremony
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
In recently broadcast footage, Putin stood in Moscow’s Christ the Saviour Cathedral alongside the city’s mayor Sergei Sobyanin
Putin gives himself the sign of the cross, but seemingly does so with deliberate slowness.
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
Observers said Putin’s actions are consistent with someone suffering from Parkinson’s disease, which causes tremors, slow movement and stiffness.
Reuters reported Putin did not join in with the congregational response, declining to respond ‘he has truly risen’, along with the rest of the congregation.
The Eastern Orthodox churches observe the ancient Julian calendar, and so Russia is celebrating Orthodox Easter on April 24, later than the Roman Catholic calendar date for Easter.
Putin was recently shown on Russian TV giving orders for troops in Ukraine to blockade the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol where more than 1,000 Ukrainians are held up inside, resisting the Kremlin’s control over the city.
‘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,’ professor Erik Bucy, a body language expert from Texas Tech University, told the Sun.
The Russian leader’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 the invasion of Ukraine.
Putin’s legs also appeared quite thin, suggesting he may be suffering from weight or muscle loss, said professor Bucy.
‘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.
‘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.
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
Russian Orthodox Church Patriarch Kirill, left, and Russian President Vladimir Putin congratulate each other after the Easter service at the Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow
Putin’s appearance was the opposite of president Zelensky’s, who addressed the Ukrainian people with Orthodox Easter message of hope and unity.
In a video address from one of the country’s best known landmarks, the 1,000-year-old Saint Sophia Cathedral in Kyiv, Zelensky said Ukraine will overcome the darkness that Russia’s invasion had brought upon it.
He vowed that no ‘wickedness’ will destroy the country and prayed that God returns happiness to children and brings solace to grieving mothers.
‘Today, we still believe in the new victory of Ukraine and we are all convinced that we will not be destroyed by any horde or wickedness,’ said Zelensky, wearing his trademark dark khaki outfit.
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky addresses Ukrainian people with Orthodox Easter message, as Russia’s attack on Ukraine continues, at the Saint Sophia cathedral in Kyiv
Putin’s last public appearance was with his minister of defence, Sergei Shoigu.
Shoigu, who is in charge of the bloody invasion of Ukraine, has been noticeably absent from public view amid reports the defence minister and Putin’s relationship has become strained after Russia’s military operation in Ukraine has led to more than 20,000 Russian troops being killed.
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 does not appear to have fared any better than Putin 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.
Last week, a Russian-Israeli businessman claimed Shoigu suffered a heart attack, which he suspects was caused by foul play.
Leonid Nevzlin claimed Shoigu had been in intensive car after suffering ‘a massive heart attack’ which ‘could not have occurred due to natural causes’, suggesting Putin’s longtime ally may have been the subject of an assassination attempt.
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
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
The scale of Russian troop losses in Ukraine has tipped 21,000 as Putin‘s war rumbles into its third month today.
The latest statistics, published by the Ukrainian Land Forces this morning, suggest 21,800 Russian fighters have been killed amid bitter resistance from Ukraine’s armed forces and territorial defence units – though this figure could not be verified.
Meanwhile, the land forces claim to have dealt massive damage to Russia’s military equipment and machinery.
A total of 873 tanks are said to have been destroyed, along with 2238 armoured vehicles, 179 planes, 154 helicopters and 408 artillery systems.
Putin’s forces rolled across the border on February 24 from the north, east and south, and quickly made a beeline for Kyiv.
But they were forced to withdraw from the outskirts of the capital in late March and refocus their efforts on a targeted offensive in the eastern Donbas region after Ukraine successfully repelled their advances, inflicting heavy losses.
Russia’s vast troop losses have been put down to poor tactical decisions by Russian military leaders and a considerable underestimation of the capabilities of Ukraine’s armed forces.
At the start of the war, Russia’s military dwarfed that of Ukraine and led many to believe that the invasion would be swift and effective.
On February 24, Russia’s land army consisted of 280,000 full-time active soldiers compared with Ukraine’s 125,600.
But the amount of Russian soldiers needed to seize the whole country and control the entire population would be close to 1 million, according to Michael Clarke, a visiting professor in King’s College London’s department of war studies – suggesting the Kremlin woefully underestimated the amount of force needed to force its neighbours into submission.
The wreckage of a downed Russian helicopter lies in a field near Kharkiv on April 16, 2022
This image, released by General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine on April 3, 2022 shows the burning wreckage of a downed Russian fighter jet in the Kharkiv region
Valentyna Sherba, 68, stands next to a Russian tank in the backyard of her father’s home, both destroyed, in the aftermath of a battle between Russian and Ukrainian troops on the outskirts of Chernihiv, northern Ukraine, Saturday, April 23, 2022
A man rides his bicycle next to a destroyed Russian tank in Chernihiv, Ukraine, on Thursday, April 21, 2022