Putin grips table tightly as he receives update on Ukraine war

Putin told how Chechnya supports ‘special military operation’

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A top Ukrainian official has suggested Vladimir Putin could be unwell as he posted a video to social media of the Russian autocrat “gripping the table” while he spoke to Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov. Anton Geraschenko, an advisor to the Ukrainian interior ministry, mocked Putin and his ally Kadryov on Twitter, noting Putin’s demeanour as he spoke to the Chechen leader. While it is impossible to corroborate claims that Putin may be unwell, multiple clips of the Russian leader have shown him shaking in a seemingly uncontrollable manner, sparking rumours that he could be battling a serious illness.

During the video, which was shared by the Kremlin, Kadyrov told Putin that the Chechen Republic was excelling at “urban environment” development, as well as the “absence of bad habits”.

While Chechnya is an independent state, Kadyrov is heavily reliant on Putin’s support to run the country.

Kadyrov said his fighters were “successfully serving” Russia in its “special military operation” in Ukraine and pledged to continue supporting Putin “until the end of the war”.

Putin responded in kind by thanking Kadyrov and his soldiers for aiding Russia in its invasion of Ukraine.

He said: “I see how your guys are fighting in the zone of a special military operation. Give them my best.”

Mr Geraschenko noted that in the video Putin appears to be “gripping the table” tightly.

Reports of Putin’s ill-health have been rife over the past few months especially after a Telegram channel claiming to be run by a Kremlin insider said the Russian leader was “weak and tired”.

It comes after Telegram channel General SVR said that Putin fell ill after an event in Volgograd to mark the anniversary of the Siege of Stalingrad last month.

The 70-year-old has been forced to cancel a number of public appearances in recent months .

General SVR claimed the Russian leader looked unhappy and in bad shape while taking part in events this week to mark the World War II Soviet victory over Nazi German forces.

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“By evening, Putin was very tired and felt weak, doctors were invited to see him,” the post claimed.

“After the next course of therapy, the president has not yet come into shape, and it is not yet clear whether he will come at all.”

But it has not been confirmed whether General SVR is, in fact, a Kremlin insider and the claim remains dubious.

Last summer, CIA Director William Burns joked that Putin is “entirely too healthy”.

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