A bloated Vladimir Putin has been seen gripping a table whilst slouching in his chair during a televised meeting with his defence minister amid rumours the Russian strongman is battling cancer.
In a rare live appearance, Putin claimed Russia had ‘liberated’ the besieged Ukrainian city of Mariupol, as he savagely ordered Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu to seal off all routes out of the Azovstal steelworks where defiant Ukrainians are holed up ‘so that even a fly cannot pass through’.
But Putin’s poor posture and his apparently bloated face and neck sparked speculation about the Russian leader’s health, which has reportedly been in decline since his invasion of Ukraine.
Video showed Putin speaking to Shoigu whilst gripping the edge of the table with his right hand – so hard that it appears white – and tapping his foot consistently.
Shoigu does not appear to have fared any better in the eight weeks since Russia invaded Ukraine, with the defence minister slurring his words and reading from his notes following an apparent heart attack.