Russian President Vladimir Putin’s health has come into question again after he appeared to be shaking and struggling to stand in a recent event at the Kremlin.
Video footage captured at an awards ceremony on Sunday showed Putin, 69, swaying back and forth after he awarded filmmaker Nikita Mikhailov the State Prize of the Russian Federation. Putin’s leg was also seen constantly shaking while he was standing near the podium.
The Telegram channel General SVR, which is purportedly run by a Kremlin military source, has claimed that doctors advised Putin against making “lengthy” appearances due to his “unstable health.” The channel added that the doctors’ medical advice led the Kremlin to postpone the “Direct Line with Vladimir Putin” event, a question-and-answer exchange between Putin and Russian citizens.
“Perhaps if Putin’s health can be stabilized, the [exchange] will be held in August,” the channel claimed. “The president’s indisposition has recently become increasingly difficult to conceal.”
Putin has been plagued by rumors that he is suffering from serious medical conditions, including blood cancer, Parkinson’s disease and early-stage dementia. In May, an FSB spy allegedly told defector Boris Karpichkov that doctors gave Putin only three years left to live as his cancer worsens.
“[Putin] has a severe form of rapidly progressing cancer. He has no more than two to three years to stay alive,” the officer said. “We are told he is suffering from headaches and when he appears on TV he needs pieces of paper with everything written in huge letters to read what he’s going to say. And his limbs are now also shaking uncontrollably.”
In April, a video also showed what seemed to be a “bloated” Putin tightly gripping a table for nearly 12 minutes during a meeting with his defense minister Sergei Shoigu.
Putin is also said to be bathing in blood extracted from deer antlers, which is a natural medicine practice said to extend a person’s youth. The practice is popular in Russia’s Altai region. The International Business Times could not independently verify such claims.
Despite the videos, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov adamantly dismissed rumors concerning Putin’s health, adding that “sane people” would see that the president is not ill.