According to media reports on Tuesday, a video of Russian President Vladimir Putin meeting with Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel has raised questions about his health. According to the British newspaper Express, Putin was reported to have grabbed the arm of the chair while he was having bilateral talks. According to the report, he was also observed tapping his leg in an unusual way.
This is the latest in an ongoing series of rumours claiming that Putin was not in his best health. A leaked audio conversation between a Russian oligarch and Putin suggested that Putin may have blood cancer. Later, Putin was seen covering up his legs with a blanket at the Victory Day Parade in Moscow. Track marks on his hands were visible. This could have been due to intravenous drips.
Sergey Lavrov (Russian Foreign Secretary) dismissed such claims. Lavrov was quoted as saying that “I don’t think that sane individuals can see signs of any type of illness or ailment” in the report.
Putin spoke to a group of mothers who were Russian soldiers fighting in Ukraine, and assured them that their sons did not die in vain. He said that he, along with the entire leadership of the country, would be there to share their grief. “We are aware that nothing can replace the grief of losing a son, especially for a mother,” said he.
Russia claimed it had lost 5,937 soldiers since the invasion of Ukraine in 2022. On Nov. 9, a top American general said that more than 1 million soldiers had been killed and wounded in each conflict.