KEY POINTS

  • Vladimir Putin's veins were seen bulging on his hand as he gripped a table during a meeting in Moscow last week
  • Bulging veins can be a sign of blood clots or an autoimmune disease, but they are also a natural sign of advancing age
  • Putin is suspected of having Parkinson's disease, but Russian authorities claim he is not suffering from ill-health

Russian President Vladimir Putin's appearance on state television last week fueled new speculations about his health.

In the clip, the veins of Putin's hand bulged as he "furiously" gripped a table for support during a meeting in Moscow with Sergei Kulikov, the CEO of Russia's RUSNANO Group, Metro reported.

It comes days after the 69-year-old head of state was seen struggling to stand still and shaking uncontrollably during an awards ceremony at the Kremlin.

"This is not a portrait of a healthy Putin but one appearing increasingly feeble and barely able to hold himself upright at a small conference table," Professor Erik Bucy, a body language expert from Texas Tech University, told The Sun.

"It’s an astonishingly weakened Putin compared to the man we observed even a few years ago," said Bucy, adding that the Russian leader's face got bloated and his legs now seemed "quite thin."

Bulging veins can reportedly be a sign of blood clots or an autoimmune disease, but they are also a natural sign of advancing age.

Putin, who will turn 70 this October, has been suspected of developing Parkinson's disease, a brain disorder causing unintended or uncontrollable movements such as shaking, stiffness and difficulty with balance and coordination.

The Russian head of state was seen fidgeting during a meeting with Tajikistan President Emomali Rahmon mid-May.

He also suffered hand and leg tremors during a meeting with Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko back in February.

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

Despite Putin's behavior, there is still "no convincing evidence" that he has a brain disorder, according to King's College London professor Michael 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," Clarke told Sky News.

"When you see him in these clips that we're seeing increasingly frequently now that COVID is over and he's now coming out of the shadows, where he's been for over two years, and he's making it clear that he's in control — he looks alright," he added.

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

Russian President Vladimir Putin, pictured chairing a meeting on the oil industry, has been targeted by sanctions
Russian President Vladimir Putin, pictured chairing a meeting on the oil industry, has been targeted by sanctions SPUTNIK via AFP / Mikhail METZEL
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