According to media reports, speculation has been sparked about Vladimir Putin’s health after he met with Miguel Diaz-Canel, the Cuban President. The British newspaper Express reported that Putin was seen grasping the arm of his chair during bilateral talks with Diaz-Canel. This caused it to “turn purple”. The report also stated that he was seen tapping his legs unusually.
This is just the latest in a string of rumors that suggested the Russian premier wasn’t in the best shape. In May, it was reported that Putin had blood cancer. Later on, Putin was seen covering his legs in a blanket during the Victory Day Parade in Moscow. There were also apparent tracks marks on his hands that could have been caused by intravenous drips.
These claims were denied by Sergey Lavrov, Russian Foreign Secretary. According to the report, Lavrov stated that “I don’t believe that sane persons can see in this individual signs of any kind of illness or injury.”
On Friday, Putin met with mothers of Russian soldiers who had been sent to fight in Ukraine. He assured them that their sons were not lost in vain. According to the news agency Reuters, he stated that he personally and the entire leadership of Russia understood their pain. He said, “We know that nothing can replace the death of a son – especially for his mother.”
Russia claims that 5,937 soldiers have been killed or wounded since its invasion of Ukraine in Feb 2022. A top US general however, estimated that over 1 lakh soldiers were killed or injured on both sides on Nov. 9.