Published On: Thu, Feb 29th, 2024

Vladimir Putin hides ‘shaking hands’ during key speech as health rumours swirl | World | News

Russian President Vladimir Putin may be suffering from Parkinson’s disease, according to a former MI6 boss. Sir Richard Dearlove, who was in charge of the British Secret Intelligence Service when Putin first came to power in 2000, shared his thoughts on LBC.

He suggested that Putin’s health issues could “probably” be due to Parkinson’s disease. Dearlove also stated that the recent death of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny “was definitely murder”.

He added that Putin’s possible paranoia, potentially caused by his illness, might have played a part in Navalny’s death.

Putin recently gave a rambling state-of-the-nation address during which he claimed that NATO was planning to attack Russia and threatened to respond with nuclear weapons.

This month, during a two-hour chat with former Fox News presenter Tucker Carlson, Putin seemed to control his shaking leg using his hand. This fuelled more rumours about his health – a long-running topic of debate.

READ MORE: Five major claims made by Vladimir Putin during his latest bombshell speech

Following a question about “how well or sick” the Russian leader was, a former MI6 boss said: “I do not have a clear answer to that, but I have contacts and friends still in eastern Europe who think that there is something fundamentally wrong with him medically. But I’m not a clinician.”

He also suggested it was “probably Parkinson’s, which of course has different representations, different variations, different seriousness. But if the man is paranoid – and I think the murder of Navalny might suggest a certain paranoia – that is one of the symptoms.”

Russian political opposition leader Navalny died on February 16 at 47 years old – he was imprisoned in Siberia. Russia has denied involvement in his death but family members and world leaders have largely blamed Putin.

“I think one has to include it was definitely murder,” Dearlove said, who led the British Secret Intelligence Service from 1999 until 2004.

Speculation on Putin’s health is far from new. In May 2022, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov had to calm down supporters by saying that Putin wasn’t seriously sick after stories came out that he was getting treatment for blood cancer.

In July of the same year, CIA boss William Burns said there was no evidence to suggest Putin was unwell, stating, “As far as we can tell, he is absolutely too healthy”. But just a few months later, former British Army boss Lord Richard Dannatt suggested Putin’s hands – which seemed to have odd marks and change colour – could mean he was possibly sick and getting injections.

Parkinson’s disease is a problem that slowly harms parts of the brain over many years. The NHS says the main signs are body shakes that you can’t control, slow movement, and stiff and hard-to-move muscles.

It can lead to other physical and mental problems, including feeling sad and worried, not being able to sleep, and trouble remembering things.

While the NHS doesn’t list paranoia as a sign, charity Parkinson’s Foundation says between 20 and 40 percent of people with the problem “report the experience of hallucinations or delusions”. They also say that Parkinson’s is a common problem affecting more than 10 million people all over the world.

After Alzheimer’s, it is the second-most common brain disease. Most people start showing signs when they’re over 50 and it’s slightly more common in men than women.

This article was crafted with the help of AI tools, which speed up the Daily Express editorial research. A Daily Express editor reviewed this content before it was published. You can report any errors here.

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