KEY POINTS

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin appeared to be suffering from tremors in his recent appearances
  • A former British lawmaker claimed Putin has Parkinson's disease, but doctors have not confirmed the allegation
  • Putin's health was said to be "excellent" despite showing the opposite in his public appearances

Recent appearances of Russian President Vladimir Putin have led to speculations about his current state of health, with some claiming the 69-year-old may be suffering from a brain disorder.

A resurfaced video of Putin's February meeting with Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko showed the Russian head of state suffering hand and leg tremors, the Independent reported.

Additionally, footage of Putin attending an Orthodox Easter service in Moscow on April 24 showed him biting his lips, fidgeting and becoming unsteady.

Putin’s recorded meeting with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu on April 21 also made it seem as if he was both "depressed" and "in bad health," Swedish economist Anders Åslund said in a statement.

Former British parliament member Louise Mensch claimed Putin's behavior during his meeting with Shoigu was proof that the Russian leader has Parkinson's disease, a brain disorder that causes unintended or uncontrollable movements such as shaking, stiffness, and difficulty with balance and coordination.

"You can see him gripping the table so that his shaking hand is not visible, but he cannot stop his foot from tapping," Mensch said.

Hand and leg tremors are among the main symptoms of Parkinson's disease.

However, no doctors have commented on the claims that Putin has the disorder, German state-owned broadcaster Deutsche Welle reported.

"Real neurologists are unlikely to comment because they are taught never to comment on people who are not their patients," John Hardy, a neurogeneticist at the United Kingdom's Dementia Research Institute, told the outlet.

While the doctor admitted that Putin "did not look well," he said that the Russian President did not show any signs of parkinsonism, a term that refers to a group of neurological disorders causing movement problems similar to those seen in Parkinson's disease.

Ray Chadhuri, a neurologist at the University of London, also agreed with Hardy's observations.

"Looking at the short clip, I can find no evidence that I can tell of parkinsonism in Putin," Chadhuri said, referring to the 12-minute video of Putin's meeting with Shoigu.

Parkinson's disease and parkinsonism are "incredibly difficult" to diagnose and can only be determined by "thorough" neurological examination in person, the doctor added.

In addition to the apparent tremors, Putin's bloated face, slouching posture and constant groping of objects for support in his recent appearances have fueled claims of his failing health.

Russian authorities have repeatedly denied reports that Putin is suffering from severe ill health.

Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, also dismissed rumors that the Russian President underwent surgery for thyroid cancer.

Peskov claimed that Putin's health was "excellent" and that he has not dealt with any illness more serious than a cold.

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting with government members via a video link in Moscow, Russia January 12, 2022. Sputnik/Alexei Nikolsky/Kremlin via
Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting with government members via a video link in Moscow, Russia January 12, 2022. Sputnik/Alexei Nikolsky/Kremlin via Reuters / SPUTNIK
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