Vladimir Putin's speech is cut short on Russian state TV feed
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Russia’s leader was attending a pro-war rally in Moscow attended by thousands of supporters. The event was held to mark the eighth anniversary of Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014. Footage showed Putin visibly limping off the stage after delivering a speech, adding yet more weight to rumours the president is gravely ill.
One Twitter user, Nigel Davies, said: “Putin limping. I’m almost sure he’s seriously ill.”
Another wrote: “Frail Putin gathered all his strength to get out of his bunker and held a fascist rally today as if his life depends on it. He is right. He will get overthrown/killed w/o public support.
“This is a life-and-death situation for him. He has a severe limp – this was not televised.”
Footage of the Russian president’s limp added to growing speculation the leader may be suffering from Parkinson’s disease, which could be influencing his behaviour.
An ex-MI6 boss said this week a number of behaviours exhibited by Putin could correspond with the disease.
Sir Richard Dearlove, who headed up the secret service from 1999 until 2004, told GB news there is often a link between the disease and a “loss of restraint”.
He said: “Maybe Putin’s behaviour – maybe his rationality – is prejudiced or compromised by illness.
“The best explanation, that we don’t know whether it’s correct or not, is that he may have Parkinson’s.
“That certainly I’ve heard from several neurologists who say that loss of restraint, psychosis, are very common Parkinson’s symptoms.”
Mr Dearlove emphasised, however, that much of the analysis of Putin’s health is “speculation” given the Kremlin’s control on all information regarding the Russian leader.
The news comes after a TikTok video went viral last week in which a nurse also claimed Putin could be afflicted with the disease.
Nurse @musclesandnursing posted the video – which has been viewed millions of times – featuring a clip of the Russian president making a move to greet someone else.
In the clip, it appears that Putin stumbles as he puts weight on his right leg.
In the video, the nurse appears after the clip of Putin, saying: “I’m a nurse. I cannot diagnose but I do know Parkinson’s and a stroke when I see it.
“Parkinson’s is under the umbrella of dementia. He’s also probably had a stroke, as you can see with the utilisation of his right leg and the jerking lifting.”
He added: “People with dementia are very, very good at covering up their dementia.
“But eventually, it reaches a point where they can’t.
“And if you look at what he’s doing, Vladimir Putin is mentally unstable.”
There is currently no cure for Parkinson’s disease, which is thought to affect one in 500 people.
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It is triggered by the loss of nerve cells in a certain area of the brain.
The rally was a rare outing for the Russian leader who still spends the majority of time in self-isolation over fears of catching Covid.
He has only been seen in public a handful of times in recent months.
The event was the first time Putin had made an appearance in front of his supporters since the war began over three weeks ago.
The president donned a £10,500 designer coat to address thousands of spectators and drum-up support for Russia’s unprovoked invasion of its neighbour.
A technical glitch cut the leader off mid-sentence before the broadcast resumed, with the president later spotted staggering off the stage.
Another Twitter user remarked: “It’s a great jacket for fascist dictators to LIMP across the stage in… Putin is sick… Parkinson’s disease perhaps?
“I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy, but in reality he has done it to himself!”
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