Friday, 23 Feb 2024

Putin health fears reignited as Russian leader hands turn ‘purple’

Russia: Putin appears to shake during conference

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The Russian leader’s hands mysteriously turned purple as he was meeting Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel, rewakening fears over his physical health. The Cuban leader met his Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin, making him one of the few world leaders to travel to Moscow since the war in Ukraine broke out in late February. Miguel Díaz-Canel condemned international sanctions levelled at Russia and offered his unwavering support to the Kremlin against what he termed the “Yankee Impire”. 

But Vladimir Putin was spotted grabbing the arm of chair during the bilateral talks, with his leg unusually shaking.

Footage shows the Russian leader moving his legs uncomfortably and his hand turning purple as he clutched to the arm of the chair. 

Following months of quarantine during the Covid-19 pandemic, Vladimir Putin has shown worrying signs of declining mental and physical health in multiple appearances since he started the war in Ukraine.

In May, leaked audio emerged in which a Kremlin-linked oligarch appears to suggest Putin suffers from blood cancer. The recording, obtained by News Lines magazine, contained the claim the President is “very ill”. 

During a Victory Day Parade held in Moscow in May, the Russian leader was pictured with a blanket over his legs at the event. Other pictures apeared to show track marks on his hands, with some commentators claiming they could come from intravenous drips.

The plot thickened when former chief of the British Army, Lord Richard Dannatt, said that the appearence of Putin’s hands suggested he may be unwell. 

He told Sky News: “Keen observers now are noticing that his hands are looking pretty black on top, which is a sign of injections going in when other parts of the body can’t take injections.”

Later that month, The Sun reported that it had seen Russian intelligence documents that claimed Putin was diagnosed with early stage Parkinson’s and pancreatic cancer. 

Only a month after the Victory Parade in Moscow, defence and security expert Professor Michael Clarke said there was “no convincing evidence” that Putin has Parkinson’s or cancer.

He said: “He is known to hit the Botox quite heavily… He 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.”

US intelligence officials told Newsweek they suspect Putin was treated for “advanced cancer” in April, with the CIA director William Burns saying they have no certainty about his health status.

The Kremlin has consistently denied the claims. Russian Foreign Secretary Sergey Lavrov told French broadcaster TF1: “I don’t think that sane people can see in this person signs of some kind of illness or ailment.”

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Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said: “Everything is fine with his health.”

The USSR and Cuba have held close relations since the Cold War when the Soviet Union supported the former Spanish colony with military aid. 

In response to Cuban support, Putin said that Cuba will always count on Russia’s help. He insisted Russia – and the former USSR – have always supported the Cuban people and their sovereignty against all kinds of embargoes. 

Putin reportedly told his Cuban counterpart: “We have always oppose any types of restrictions, embargoes and blockades. We have always supported Cuba on the international stage, and we see that Cuba adopts the same stance with Russia.”

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