Vladimir Putin sparks more health rumours as coughing president covers up with blanket

The Russian leader appeared to limp when walking and when sat down was covered under a blanket

Joe Middleton
Monday 09 May 2022 16:56
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Putin huddled under blanket during Victory Day parade
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Vladimir Putin has sparked yet further rumours of his ill-health after being pictured coughing and huddled under a blanket at Russia’s Victory Day parade.

The Russian president had the thick green cover draped over his legs as he sat among Second World War veterans and senior dignitaries to watch a military procession in Moscow’s Red Sqaure to celebrate the Soviet Union’s defeat of Nazi Germany’s.

Putin, wearing a black bomber jacket, was also spotted coughing and was the only person among his group who needed additional coverings to combat the relatively mild 9C weather in the nation’s capital at the time.

Another clip showed the Russian leader appearing to limp, adding fuel to the fire of rumours he is battling a serious health, with reports suggesting he could have Parkinson’s or cancer.

Just last month video footage emerged showing Putin slouching and tightly holding a table throughout a meeting with Russian defence minister Sergei Shoigu.

The footage, that was posted by the Kremlin, showed the 69-year-old, appearing bloated, hold onto the corner of the table for the entire 12 minute meeting.

And days before Putin invaded Ukraine in mid-February he hosted close ally and Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko in Moscow and was seen with his hand clutched to his chest and shaking.

Putin is the only person present who is using a blanket for warmth

There have also been reports that Putin is set to undergo surgery, possibly for cancer. A post on Russian Telegram channel General SVR, claimed that Putin’s doctors have warned him the surgery might incapacitate him for “a short time”.

The Kremlin has never commented on reports of the Russian leader’s alleged ill-health.

In Putin’s speech at the Victory Day celebrations he suggested that Russian forces were “defending the motherland” by attacking Ukraine, but did not declare even a limited victory or signal where the conflict was headed.

He also mentioned Nato’s gradual creep eastward, including into former Soviet republics, and sought to justify Russia’s invasion of Ukraine before an “inevitable” clash.

“The danger was rising by the day,” Putin said as he surveyed the troops. “Russia has given a pre-emptive response to aggression. It was forced, timely and the only correct decision.”

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