One Year of Ukraine War | Rumors of Putin’s Illness Persist, Is Russian Prez’s Health Sharply Deteriorating?

Russian President Vladimir Putin gives his annual state of the nation address in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2023. (Pavel Bednyakov, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

There have been rumours Vladimir Putin is in poor health for years and he is being followed by a team of doctors who constantly monitor him

The Ukraine war entered its second year on Friday with both Russia and Kyiv struggling to find a breakthrough. While Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is more determined to defend his territory, on the other side, in Russia, there has been a renewed focus around President Vladimir Putin’s health.

Putin’s health has always been an area of interest across the globe and there have been several speculations and rumours about his deteriorating health. He is rumoured to be suffering from cancer, Parkinson’s Disease and other ailments including a schizoaffective disorder.

However, Kremlin has remained kept tight-lipped about the state of the Russian President’s health, prompting journalists and political scientists to analyze his every move to detect any sign of frailty or illness.


Reports published in December last year claimed that Putin is being treated for cancer with Western medicine.

A man makes a selfie in front of a tv screen showing Russian President Vladimir Putin during his annual state of the nation address in in Sevastopol, Crimea, Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2023. (AP Photo)

Russian historian and political analyst Valery Solovey said that the 70-year-old Russian president is ‘being kept alive’ by medicines made in the West to slow the cancer’s spread.

“I can say that without this foreign treatment he would definitely not have been in public life in the Russian Federation,” Solovey said, according to New York Post.

He added that Putin is provided with the most advanced treatments and target therapy which couldn’t be provided in Russia.

Parkinson’s disease

Russian security service insider has claimed in leaked Kremlin mails that Putin is battling Parkinson’s disease along with cancer.

An electronic billboard on a hotel building shows Russian President Vladimir Putin giving his annual state of the nation address in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2023. (AP Photo/Dmitry Serebryakov)

A video of the meeting between Putin and Russian defense minister Sergei Shoigu last year showed the Russian President tightly gripping a table. It showed Putin tapping his foot and slouching throughout the course of the clip while his face was bloated.

The video prompted some commentators, including former UK Conservative Party MP Louise Mensch, to claim that Putin was suffering from Parkinson’s disease.

The report also said that there were rumours that the Russian president is in poor health for years and he is being followed by a team of doctors who constantly monitor him.

‘Fell Down the Stairs’

Amid growing speculations around his health, Putin suffered a fall from the stairs and soiled himself, multiple reports said in December 2022.

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a wreath-laying ceremony at the Unknown Soldier’s Grave in the Alexander Garden during the national celebrations of the “Defender of the Fatherland Day” in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, Feb. 23, 2023. (Valeriy Sharifulin, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

The Russian President slipped down five stairs and landed on his coccyx or tailbone during the fall, which caused him to “involuntarily defecate” due to the “cancer affecting his stomach and bowels,” New York Post said quoting anti-Kremlin Telegram channel.

The incident took place in front of the president’s security guards, who reacted quickly and rushed to Putin’s aid, the report added.

Deteriorating health

The news of Putin’s poor health has been emerging for a long time and news reports have also questioned his ability to take key decisions during Ukraine war. According to “General SVR” channel, Putin’s health is ‘dramatically deteriorating and it’s impacted his judgement’

Images from May last year showed Russian leader shivering at Russia’s Victory Day Parade as a heavy blanket was draped across his legs. A day later, he was seen limping as he walked to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

In a resurfaced video taken in February 2022, Putin was filmed uncontrollably shaking his hands before welcoming Belarus leader Alexander Lukashenko at the Kremlin.

In June, he was seen shaking and struggling to stand during an awards ceremony in Kremlin as he holds onto the podium in front of him. He was seen swaying front and back after presenting an award to filmmaker Nikita Mikhailov. Viral photos on the internet also showed strange marks and colour on Putin’s hands.

Though there have been multiple reports on Putin’s heath, there hasn’t been much in terms of concrete medical evidence or any official response from the Kremlin.

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