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Putin’s ‘Victory Day’ Parade Appearance Renews Speculation About His Health

Russian President Vladimir Putin and other participants carry portraits of their relatives — World War II soldiers — as they take part in the Immortal Regiment march on May 9, 2022, in Red Square in central Moscow. Russia celebrates the 77th anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany in World War II. (Natalia Kolesnikova/AFP via Getty Images)
Russian President Vladimir Putin and other participants carry portraits of their relatives — World War II soldiers — as they take part in the Immortal Regiment march on May 9, 2022, in Red Square in central Moscow. Russia celebrates the 77th anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany in World War II. (Natalia Kolesnikova/AFP via Getty Images)

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s actions at his country’s annual holiday celebration have again raised concerns about his health and well-being.

At Monday’s ”Victory Day” parade, commemorating the Soviet Union’s World War II defeat of Nazi Germany in 1945, Putin was reportedly draped with a heavy blanket on his leg, despite being surrounded by older military veterans who apparently didn’t have extra coverings.

Putin, 69, appeared to be in good spirits during his address, and didn’t require extra assistance from the base of the speaker’s podium. The Russian president, however, reportedly had a noticeable limp when getting up to make his speech.

Here’s how a foreign-language website characterized Putin’s appearance at Monday’s ceremony, according to Twitter:

”Speech is unusually short, his condition appears further [deteriorated]. Face/neck seem swollen by steroids, he is apparently pain-ridden and has problems with concentration.”

There have been whispers about Putin’s health for a few weeks, with speculation covering a new cancer diagnosis, or a series of photos suggesting an overall decline.

The Kremlin has reportedly characterized the cancer speculation as ”fiction and untruth.”

Also, according to Newsweek, Putin was recently seen gripping a table, for assistance, while meeting with his defense minister. The presumptions became rampant after that, including some suspicion of Parkinson’s disease — a diagnosis that has neither been confirmed nor denied by the Kremlin.

Aleksandra Cichocka, reader in political psychology at the University of Kent in England, previously told Newsweek the Putin-health fixation is a byproduct of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24. 

”The invasion of Ukraine poses an existential threat, and people might be motivated to explain why something so devastating is happening,” Cichocka said.

She added: ”Putin being unwell could help make sense of this otherwise incomprehensible situation.”

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