Russian President Vladimir Putin and Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko (R). The latter is a long-time Kremlin ally.
SPUTNIK via AFP / Gavriil GRIGOROV
KEY POINTSPutin attended a public meeting with Belarusian President Alexander LukashenkoHe was was seen struggling to control his legs during the entire exchangeThe two presidents discussed military expansion and economic cooperationVladimir Putin was seen struggling to control his legs during a public meeting with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko.
Putin hosted a meeting with Lukashenko at his residence near Moscow on Friday to discuss military expansion and economic cooperation amid the ongoing war in Ukraine.
However, Putin was observed fidgeting with his legs restlessly during the meeting which led to a rise in further speculations about his health.
The Russian president’s peculiar and agitated body language gave rise to a flurry of concerns about his health. Putin was seen moving his legs in an erratic, uneasy manner during the entire duration of the public exchange with the Belarusian president.
In one of the clips shared by the Kremlin, the Russian leader was seen moving his ankles up and down, his knees side to side for the entire minute and twenty-three seconds that was recorded on camera.
The ongoing Russia-Ukraine war escalated on Feb. 24, 2022 when Russia attacked and invaded Ukraine. The full-scale invasion led to tens of thousands of deaths on both sides and is considered as one of Europe’s largest refugee crisis since World War II. Putin used Russian forces stationed in Belarus to attempt and conquer Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine.
The war has led to a flurry of theories and speculations about the state of President Putin’s health ranging from Parkinson’s disease to cancer. Several websites also reported that the Russian leader allegedly travels with a team of doctors.
Anton Gerashchenko, an advisor to the Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, shared a video of the same on twitter with the caption “Putin’s feet during his meeting with Lukashenko. Is this Morse code?”
Many others who saw the clip speculated that the Russian president could be showing signs of Parkinson’s disease as restless legs syndrome is a common symptom experienced by those diagnosed with the disease. Some even took the chance to make humorous comments about Putin’s awkward movements.
Some of the tweets and captions are as follows: “Training to be a drummer,” one user tweeted.
“Could also be a sign of neurological problems. There’s a difference between fasciculations (twitching) and outright uncontrollable limb movement of that magnitude,” tweeted another user.
“For those saying it’s edited video, here is original. Whether restless or medical, it’s not normal behaviour on world stage. 7 years cared for father that died with Parkinson’s. I can attest it looks like later early stages, but you be the judge.”
“Putin’s continuing problem to control his legs and arms has been visible again today when he met Lukashenko. This man is medically sick. Russia’s losing war will most certainly expedite his worsening condition.”
Furthermore, the meeting also led to an awkward exchange of conversations between the two presidents.
Putin started the conversation by saying, “Thank you for agreeing to come,” to which the Belarusian President replied by saying, “As if I could not agree.”
“Well, we are all busy people, We have enough to do at home, I understand,” Putin replied.
The two leaders avoided speaking on the war, instead the discussion was largely focused on widening their economic partnership.