Everything we know about Vladimir Putin’s health amid Parkinson’s and cancer rumors

Various Western doctors and medical professionals have speculated about the health of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who was spotted shaking hands with Alexander Lukashenko at a recent meeting

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Putin’s hand appears to be shaking before meeting with Lukashenko

Vladimir Putin’s health remains under intense scrutiny amid swirling rumors that he is critically ill – and could require surgery.

Over the past two and a half months, Russian forces have devastated large parts of Ukraine on orders from Putin, who has long had a reputation as a shrewd geopolitical actor.

However, as the invasion falters and the Russian army falls well short of its goal of capturing Kyiv in four days, that reputation has come under intense scrutiny.

The seemingly reckless and ill-conceived invasion has left many wondering if a man once considered a master strategist has been compromised by ill health.

A rumor that has hung over the 69-year-old leader long before the invasion of Ukraine is that he suffers from some type of central nervous system disorder like Parkinson’s.

Could Vladimir Putin have Parkinson’s or cancer?



Last week, such speculation reached new heights when a video of Putin welcoming Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko circulated in mid-February.

In it, the former KGB agent can be seen holding one hand to his chest while the other is clenched into a fist.

When his hand starts shaking uncontrollably, Putin pulls it close to his chest in an apparent attempt to stop the shaking.

Despite his best efforts, he wobbles unsteadily as he walks toward his longtime ally and election competitor, legs continuing to tremble.

While the mysterious Russian leader – who says he “allows” any form of intrusion into his private life – is unlikely to release reliable medical records for himself anytime soon, doctors were quick to speculate about a possible Parkinson’s disease.

Parkinson’s is a disease in which the brain loses nerve cells, causing problems like tremors and stiffness that get worse over time.

Although there are now treatments to dull the effects, there is no cure for the condition, which can lead to memory loss and make people more susceptible to deadly infections.

However, some medical professionals have thrown cold water on the Parkinson’s theory.

The despot has come under even more scrutiny over the past two months


(Getty Images)

John Hardy, neurogeneticist at the UK Dementia Research Institute, told the German news platform German wave that the video didn’t suggest he had Parkinson’s.

“In my view, no signs of Parkinsonism. He wasn’t handsome … but not Parkinson’s disease,” he said.

Ray Chadhuri, a neurologist at the University of London, agreed, saying, “Looking at the short clip, I can’t find any evidence that I could speak of Parkinson’s in Putin.”

Caroline Rassell, chief executive of Parkinson’s UK, said it was too complex a condition, with over 40 physical and mental symptoms impossible to assess from such a short clip.

Sir Richard Dearlove, the former head of M16, has fueled speculation that Putin is indeed ill, although the exact condition is difficult to pinpoint.

Some have suggested that Putin may have cancer


He told GB News last month: “What is also worrying is the speculation, and it is speculation, that maybe Putin’s behavior, maybe his rationality, is biased or compromised by illness.”

He said he spoke to “several neurologists” who said “loss of restraint, psychosis, are very common Parkinson’s symptoms”.

When asked if the bloodied leader had Parkinson’s, a Kremlin spokesman dismissed the rumors as “absolute nonsense.”

Over the weekend, Putin’s health watchers turned their attention from the neurological condition to cancer as a possible cause of his seemingly declining health.

It has been reported that the Russian dictator will appoint hard-line Security Council chairman and ex-FSB chief Nikolai Patrushev to take control of the invasion while he undergoes cancer surgery.

The extraordinary claims appeared on the popular Telegram channel General SVR, which says its source is a well-placed figure in the Kremlin.

The claims from mysterious sources align with speculation that Putin’s increasingly puffy face and round-appearing head are the result of the use of steroids – a drug that can cause inflammation and swelling and is often used to treat cancer.

The cancer claims are by no means new.

Nikolai Patrushev, secretary of the Security Council, will take over the Kremlin while Putin is treated, it has been claimed

When Putin’s army first invaded Ukraine to take Crimea in 2014, speculation was widespread that he had either spinal cord cancer or pancreatic cancer.

Since then, thyroid cancer, colon cancer and a brain tumor have all been added to the list of possible diseases.

Angus Dalgleish, a professor of oncology at St George’s University of London, is a proponent of both Parkinson’s and cancer theories.

He has said that the “flatness” of Putin’s face and the clear “lack of emotion” he displays show that he has Parkinson’s disease.

Professor Dalgleish has also speculated that Putin has a thyroid problem, perhaps as a result of the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.

“It’s also said that he has a very bad back from his judo etc and you can tell that from his gait,” the professor told GB News.

“If he’s had a very bad back for a long time, he was probably taking opiates, a painkiller that had some effect on him.”

Professor Dalgleish also speculated that Putin may have a brain tumor because of the way he has “acted and changed” in recent years.

He said: “When I look at him 2 or 3 years ago and now his face has a symmetry.

“What raises the question in my mind and how he has acted and changed his behavior, his breakup and his cognitive issue is whether he has a brain tumor.

“Where he’s being followed not only by a thyroid cancer specialist, but also by a neurosurgeon.”

Whether such speculations are true or are just the consequence of the hopes of those who desperately want an end to his bloody rule, only time will tell.

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