“We all hope that he will die of his cancer or of an internal coup”, gets carried away by a Russian oligarch in a recording to which New Lines Magazine would have had access. Vehemently attacking the Russian president, the businessman believes, in the conversation recorded without his knowledge, that he “ruined the economy of his country” because of “problems in his head”. This information relayed by the media comes to bring water to the mill of those who postulate that the head of the Kremlin is sick. Indeed, for several months, rumors about Vladimir Putin’s state of health have been rife. Questioned by Het Nieuwsblad , several health experts, however, delay these remarks. If they do not rule out the possibility that the head of state is unwell, they believe that the arguments agitated in recent times are weak.
A (very) long table to protect Vladimir Putin?
On several occasions, the Russian president has met heads of state around a very large table – even arousing ironic reactions on social networks – leaving a significant distance between the host and his guest. Some saw the provision as a way for Putin to protect his fragile health, even though he did not behave in the same way with his Argentinian counterpart, whom he shook hands with on February 3. “It’s speculation,” said Professor Peeters, who was notably head of the oncology department at the University Hospital of Antwerp. “On May 9, Putin could be seen mingling with others during the parade and shaking hands.”
These public appearances also allow, according to the UAntwerp specialist, to dispel rumors of acute leukemia. “Patients who suffer from it are usually treated quite intensively with bone marrow transplants, which makes it difficult to even get out. So it seems unlikely.”
A video released at the beginning of May had also caused a lot of ink to flow. In the TV footage, Vladimir Putin could be seen standing firmly at the table in front of him. Some have postulated that the head of state behaved like this because, suffering from Parkinson’s disease, he was no longer able to control his hand. The gait of the Russian president – who constantly keeps one arm fixed – is also, according to them, a symptom of the disease. “It may be a symptom, because Parkinson’s disease is an asymmetrical disease. But I think it is rather the result of his military training, which accustomed him to holding a weapon with one arm”, postulated neurologist Patrick Santens (UGent) in Het Nieuwsblad.
Finally, if some also considered that the impulsive behavior of Putin in particular vis-à-vis the Ukraine could be linked to Parkinson’s disease, the neurologist strongly doubts it. “It can modify behavior, but the war is probably due to the underlying personality,” he concluded.