Putins health: Kremlin cover-up as Presidents coughing fit caused illness fears

Ukraine: 'Nothing will stop Putin' says Volkivskyi

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Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has sparked questions about whether President Vladimir Putin is in a fit state of mind. Jim Clapper,  former director of US National Intelligence, described Putin as “unhinged” after the President spent months in isolation due to alleged Covid paranoia. Meanwhile, former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Putin was “always calculating and cold, but this is different. He seems erratic.”

Speculation over Putin’s mental health began in February after the Russian leader made visiting French President, Emmanuel Macron, sit at the end of a four-metre-long table.

The pictures sparked claims that Putin was terrified of catching Covid, due to an unknown health issue.  

Sir Richard Dearlove, the former head of MI6, said that the “best explanation” for Putin’s odd behaviour was that “he may have Parkinson’s”, a claim that the Kremlin has previously denied. 

Sir Richard told GB News: “I’ve heard from several neurologists who say that loss of restraint, psychosis, are very common Parkinson’s symptoms.”

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Questions surrounding Putin’s health have plagued the Russian President for over a decade. 

Suggestions that Putin was suffering from poor health re-emerged in 2020 after the President suffered a coughing fit during a televised meeting. 

The leader was seen struggling to finish a sentence while speaking to top officials about Russia’s “acute financial problems” due to coronavirus. 

Putin excused himself and then covered his mouth with his hand as the cough became more severe. 

Radio Mayak, who had broadcast the original video said: “Putin’s vocal cords gave in as he was setting up his government to fight COVID-19.”

State news agency TASS claimed that Putin “apologised and continued the meeting almost without pausing”.

However, the original video was edited to make Putin’s cough seem less severe and then uploaded to the Kremlin website. 

When TASS approached the Kremlin for comment on Putin’s health the agency was told he was “absolutely normal”.

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Earlier that year, one of the President’s prominent critics also claimed that Putin was suffering from cancer and had undergone surgery.

Valery Solovei cited sources at the “epicentre of decision making” and alleged that Putin had had an operation in February 2020, while he had also been diagnosed with Parkinson’s. 

According to the Mail Online, Mr Solovei said: “One is of a psycho-neurological nature, the other is a cancer problem.

“If anyone is interested in the exact diagnosis, I’m not a doctor and I have no ethical right to reveal these problems.

“The second diagnosis is a lot, lot more dangerous than the first name diagnosis as Parkinson’s does not threaten physical state but just limits public appearances.

“Based on this information people will make conclusions about his life horizon, which wouldn’t even require specialist medical education.”

The Kremlin responded to Mr Solovei’s claims by categorically denying anything was wrong with Putin’s health.

Speculation surrounding Putin’s health also emerged in 2014 after the leader ordered the illegal annexation of the Crimean peninsula.

At the time an article citing a number of “sources” close to the President, including an unnamed German doctor, alleged that Putin was suffering from terminal cancer. 

Richard Johnson, a journalist writing in the New York Post, claimed: “Put was allegedly being treated by a doctor from the old East Germany.

“The doctor has been trying various treatments, including steroid shots, which would explain Putin’s puffy appearance. 

“But I’m told the physician quit recently, confiding that he was mistreated by Putin’s security detail.”

The Kremlin denied the allegations, insisting that “everything’s fine” and ordering journalists to “bite their tongue”.

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