Russian President Vladimir Putin recently visited a training ground in the Ryazan region of western Russia as part of a propaganda video released by Russia’s Ministry of Defense (MoD) amid the ongoing war in Ukraine.
Putin can be seen conversing with soldiers and even trying out a sniper rifle for himself, but careful observers say they saw something more: The Russian president appeared to have IV entry marks on the back of his right hand, spurring renewed conjecture that he is battling cancer.
The video, aired by the MoD’s Zvezda TV channel, was evidently filmed in an effort to assuage fears that Russian fighters were being sent to battle without sufficient equipment, the NY Post reported.
There has been no confirmation that the marks on the 70-year-old’s hand are indeed from an IV, and former Ukraine correspondent Tom Warner suggested the blemished area seen in the video could be “just a weird angle of bulgey [sic] veins.”
Warner did however observe that Putin’s hands and face appeared puffy and bloated, which he speculated was due to long-term steroid use.
Kyiv Post journalist Jason Jay Smart posted screenshots on Twitter that focused in on the discolored area of Putin’s hand. He noted that two different versions of the video were released by the Kremlin.
PUTIN’S HEALTH 🇷🇺
Videos released by 🇷🇺 Government news show what could be track marks, from IVs, on the hand of Putin.
For the same event, the Kremlin released two videos: One with tons of watermarks (making the hand harder to see), the other without any shot of his hand. pic.twitter.com/a1mfs6hOud
— Jason Jay Smart (@officejjsmart) October 22, 2022
It is not uncommon for world leaders to travel with medical staff, but the Russian independent outlet Proekt claimed Putin also travels with more than one oncologist when he is on official visits.
A trip to Kazakhstan was canceled in July, igniting rumors the Russian president was seriously ill, which prompted the Kremlin to issue a statement in which spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said that “everything is fine with his heath.”
Telegram channel General SVR has propagated rumors of the Russian president’s ill health for months, asserting without substantiation that Putin suffers from cancer, Parkinson’s disease and a schizoaffective disorder.
The outlet also reported that Putin seemed to be in pain during a Red Square event last month in celebration of the country’s annexation of four Ukrainian regions, as well as during a recent meeting with Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko.
A recent post on the General SVR channel claimed, “Putin’s oncology is progressing and, despite adequate treatment lately, the pain is not always completely relieved.”
“It must be understood that the deplorable state of the president’s physical and mental health affects the adoption of key decisions. Putin doesn’t want to change history, he wants to end it.”
But at least one deep state guy doesn’t believe the rumors.
Speaking at the Aspen Security Forum in Colorado this summer, CIA Director William Burns told the audience, “There are lots of rumors about President Putin’s health and as far as we can tell, he’s entirely too healthy.”
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