A viral video suggests there’s reason to believe Russian President Vladimir Putin is hiding a secret even as the eyes of the whole world are trained on him.
Nearly two weeks into Russia’s invasion into Ukraine, rumors about the leader’s health — including one theory that he’s experiencing cognitive decline because of Parkinson’s disease — have resurfaced with a vengeance.
While the Kremlin has denied such claims, a video clip from a meeting just before the invasion between Putin and Alexander Lukashenko, the president of Belarus, perhaps tells a different story.
The clip shared on platforms such as Reddit and Twitter appears to show the Russian president putting a shaky right hand to his chest before using an awkward kick of his right foot as he steps forward to greet Lukashenko in Moscow on Feb. 18.
— Team Stollberg 🇺🇦🇪🇺🏳️🌈 (@Team_Stollberg) March 1, 2022
An AFP News Agency video from that event begins just after this greeting and shows a more steady Putin, though it supports the claims of the clip’s origin.
Though it would seem odd that Putin would have a public meeting while exhibiting such symptoms, it’s notable that Belarus, which shares a border with both Russia and Ukraine, would later become a launching site for Putin’s attack on Ukraine, Reuters reported.
There may be other explanations for these movements, but a man purporting to be a nurse further uncovered the significance of Putin’s tremor and gait in a TikTok clip that had nearly 300,000 likes by Thursday afternoon.
“Nurses and medical professionals, I’m gonna show you a video and this is why we should be terrified,” the user — @musclesandnursing — said before rolling the clip.
“I’m a nurse, I cannot diagnose, but I do know Parkinson’s and a stroke when I see it,” the man asserted.
“Parkinson’s is under the umbrella of dementia,” he explained, later adding that he felt Putin “probably had a stroke” because of the “utilization of his right leg.”
Indeed, Putin can be seen lifting his right leg with halting motion instead of a smooth step typically seen in healthy individuals, something that could also be a “symptom of vascular dementia,” according to the TikTok user.
A Parkinson’s diagnosis could explain both the physical changes and why Putin is acting so aggressively — even taking the serious step of putting his nuclear combat forces on high alert — while facing possible retaliation and international backlash.
Though rumors that Putin had the neurodegenerative disease along with some type of cancer have persisted since 2020, he has become germ-phobic, often taking meetings at an absurdly long table away from others, and appears puffy-faced, which could suggest a suppressed immune system and the use of steroids to treat some malady, the U.K.’s Telegraph reported.
It’s entirely possible Putin has kept a serious medical condition under wraps and only now is becoming severely ill enough to exhibit symptoms publicly.
However, there is a danger in leaping to that conclusion as the only explanation for the Russian president’s apparent bloodlust.
It’s quite possible Putin simply took the opportunity to invade Ukraine because America is saddled with President Joe Biden, who is as incompetent as he is weak.
The Russian leader could have made the calculation that Biden’s military strategy is to cut and run as he did in Afghanistan.
It’s possible that Putin’s health problems are true and significant and that the world is finally getting a glimpse of the effects on display — but it’s just as likely that Biden’s weakening of America is more to blame.
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