KEY POINTS

  • Vladimir Putin takes "a lot of Botox" and is "trying to embalm himself while he's still alive" 
  • The head of state is also a hypochondriac or someone who constantly worries about their health
  • Putin dismissed the rumors about his alleged failing health last Friday

Russian President Vladimir Putin takes Botox "quite heavily" and constantly worries about his health, an expert has claimed.

"I always say that [Putin's] trying to embalm himself while he's still alive - he does take a lot of Botox," defense and security analyst Prof. Michael Clarke said during a live Q&A session on Sky News.

The Russian head of state, who is turning 70 this October, is also a hypochondriac, Clarke said in response to a question asking if Putin was really ill.

"[Putin] moves around with doctors, there's known to be a little team of doctors who are never far away, and it's said that he leaves meetings at frequent intervals to go and consult with somebody. I suspect that he's only a hypochondriac, to be honest," the analyst claimed.

Hypochondria, also known as health anxiety, is a condition where people "spend so much time worrying you're ill, or about getting ill, that it starts to take over your life," according to the United Kingdom's National Health Service.

Putin's recent appearances sparked rumors regarding his alleged ill health, with some suspecting the Russian leader having Parkinson's disease, a brain disorder that causes unintended or uncontrollable movements, such as shaking, stiffness and difficulty with balance and coordination.

However, there was "no convincing evidence" showing Putin has a mental disorder or other illnesses like pancreatic cancer, per Clarke.

"I've spoken to a number of people who say you cannot detect Parkinson's disease from the way he walks, you cannot detect symptoms of cancer just by looking at photographs," the professor explained.

Putin dismissed speculations surrounding his health last Friday by paraphrasing a popular misquote attributed to Mark Twain, the pen name of American author Samuel Langhorne Clemens.

"Like Mark Twain once said: 'The rumors about my death were greatly exaggerated,'" the head of state said in front of Russian elites at the annual St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.

The misquote was part of piece Clemens wrote to the New York Journal in 1897, addressing rumors claiming he was either gravely ill or already dead.

"The report of my illness grew out of his illness. The report of my death was an exaggeration," the author originally wrote.

Russia's President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting outside Moscow Russia's President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting on the country's oil and gas industry with representatives of Russian energy companies and officials via a video link at a residence outside Moscow, Russia April 14, 2022. Sputnik/Mikhail Klimentyev/Kremlin via REUTERS . Photo: Reuters / SPUTNIK