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Vladimir Putin’s health under fresh scrutiny as video shows him ‘shaking uncontrollably’

Speculation is growing over the condition of the 69-year-old president but Kremlin denies he is in bad health

Thomas Kingsley
Wednesday 27 April 2022 15:38 BST
Footage resurfaces of Putin 'shaking uncontrollably' during Lukashenko meeting
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A resurfaced video showning Vladimir Putin shaking uncontrollably has sparking fresh concerns about the Russian president’s health.

The footage shows him seemingly suffering hand and leg tremors as he welcomed Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko to a meeting in mid-February, just days before he launched his invasion of Ukraine. Mr Putin is seen holding one hand to his chest while the other is in a fist, sparking speculation online that he may have Parkinson’s disease.

As his hand begins to tremor uncontrollably, Mr Putin pulls it close to his chest, in an apparent attempt to stop the shaking. However, as he walks toward his longtime ally, he wobbles as his leg also tremors.

Vladimir Putin’s hand shakes uncontrollably as he welcomes the Belarusian president (Screengrab)

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 of objects for support.

A clip from last week showed the Kremlin leader grabbing hold of the corner of the table with his right hand as soon as he sits down for the meeting, and keeps hold of it for the entirety of the 12 minute clip. Mr Putin can also be seen intermittently holding the edge of the table with his left hand while speaking to defence minister Sergei Shoigu.

Visegrad24, which first published the footage online, said it was “probably the clearest video of something being wrong with Putin’s health”.

Rory Cellan-Jones, the BBC’s former technology correspondent, who announced in 2019 that he had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s himself, also said he believed it to be symptomatic of the disease.

Sir Richard Dearlove – former MI6 head – and Professor Gwythian Prins – previously a Nato adviser – have claimed that Mr Putin has shown signs of the progressive nervous system disorder.

Footage showed Mr Putin holding a table for large portions of a meeting (AP)

Moscow has repeatedly denied reports that Mr Putin has suffered from severe ill health. Earlier this month, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov denied that Mr Putin had undergone surgery for thyroid cancer, and said that the president’s health was “excellent” and that he had not dealt with any illness more serious than a cold.

The footage comes as Vladimir Putin met with UN secretary general Antonio Guterres in Moscow on Tuesday in the first meeting between the two since Russia began its invasion of Ukraine.

UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said the Russian leader and Mr Guterres discussed "proposals for humanitarian assistance and evacuation of civilians from conflict zones, namely in relation to the situation in Mariupol."

Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, speaks to UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres during their meeting in the Kremlin (Sputnik)

They also agreed in principle, he said, that the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross should be involved in the evacuation of civilians from the Azovstal steel complex where Ukrainian defenders in the southeastern city are making a dogged stand.

During the meeting, which the UN said lasted nearly two hours, Mr Putin and Mr Guterres sat at opposite ends of a notably long white table in a room with gold curtains bordered in red.

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