Putin’s ‘shaky arm’ could hold clues to potential ‘grave illness’

Vladimir Putin's possible cancer discussed by expert

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Russian President Vladimir Putin could be “gravely ill”, a Russia expert has claimed.

For years Moscow observers have suggested the Kremlin chief may be suffering from a number of health issues, including cancer or Parkinson’s. Now former Moscow bureau chief for Newsweek Owen Matthews, says it is difficult to know whether Putin is ill for sure, but warns his “shaky arm” could indicate he is in fact suffering from poor health.

Speaking to Times Radio on Monday, Mr Matthews said: “It’s extremely hard to tell. It’s not just the appointments with the cancer specialists…he’s clearly spent up to 135 days with cancer specialists since 2017.

“According to Oliver Stone, who made several documentaries with Vladimir Putin personally, he said earlier this year that Putin had cancer back in 2017 and ‘licked it’.

“The truth is that we don’t know. But we do have evidence that his shaky right arm, which we often see gripping a table or shaking…there are doctors who have seen that footage who say it could be something like Parkinson’s.”

However, as Mr Matthews points out, not everyone believes Putin is suffering from health issues.

He added: “But again, we don’t know, and of course it’s possible that he may be gravely ill. But when he has appeared hither to he has actually quashed those rumours and appeared quite vigorous and fit.

“We haven’t seen a clear indication that Putin is unwell, but then of course we wouldn’t because he would conceal that from us.”

Rumours surrounding Putin and his health began to swirl years ago, but they gained traction in February when his “shaky arm” was seen while he was speaking to Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko.

In April, an independent media outlet reported that the Russian leader has travelled with an oncologist on numerous occasions.

In May, a former MI6 spy also added weight to claims Putin is suffering from poor health. Speaking to LBC, Christopher Steele said the exact details were unknown but added Putin is “constantly” accompanied by doctors.

But others dismissed the claims. Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov addressed Putin’s health in May, saying “Putin appears in public every day” and added: “I don’t think sane people can discern any sort of symptom of disease in this man.”

Then, in July, CIA Director William Burns also said that the Russian President is “too healthy” but dded that his comment was “not a formal intelligence judgment.”

As Putin and his colleagues arrive in Minsk for more talks with Belarus, there is concern that Russia could be about to drag the country further into the conflict with Ukraine.

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Lukashenko has already provided Moscow with diplomatic and military support but could play a more direct role in aiding Russia in the future.

But the visit has also put another Kremlin heavyweight’s health under the spotlight. Russian defence minister, Sergei Shoigu, was seen on Monday limping and hiding his hand from view.

Just a day before, Shoigu was shown in a video supposedly piloting a helicopter near the frontline in Ukraine.

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