Questions about Russian president Vladimir Putin's heath were once again raised after his legs were seen wrapped in a blanket as he watched Russia's Victory Day parade in Moscow on Sunday. Putin was seen seated next to a number of top Russian military officials with a blanket on his lap to keep warm.
However, none of the others sitting next to him felt the chill, which has once again raised questions about his falling health. The Russian strongman has in recent times been seen posing awkwardly in photos, where his hands appeared to be shaking. This comes amid unverified reports that Putin might be suffering from cancer or Parkinson's.
Putin Looks Unwell
Putin, unlike his image, looked frail and had a blanket wrapped around his leg as he the oversaw the massive parade of his country's military power to mark Victory Day, the day Russia marks the end of World War II.
Despite the fact that it was a chilly 9ÂºC in Moscow on Sunday, none of the other senior Kremlin dignitaries watching the march-past felt the need for a blanket, adding to suspicions that Putin's health is worsening.
While others sitting next to him didn't seem to mind the nip in the air, Putin looked shivering. In fact, many commented on social media that he was shivering and quite frail. However, it isn't known if the blanket was to keep him warm or if he wanted to conceal something by putting a blanket on his lap.
A lot of questions have been raised about Putin's deteriorating health in recent months although the Kremlin has time and again denied that the Russian strongman is unwell. In fact, there has been speculation lately that Putin might be suffering from cancer and would soon undergo surgery.
Social Media Speculates
A video clip of Putin walking up to the stand and waving at the crowd before sitting down has gone viral on social media. The clip shows a blanket already placed on Putin's chair even before he arrives. The Russian President is then seen approaching his chair. He then picks up the blanket placed on the chair and wraps his legs just after sitting down.
The other look at him as he wraps the blanket before he starts watching the parade.
"President Vladimir Putin throws aside his Russian Wool blanket to stride manfully to the unknown," wrote one user on Twitter about his blanket.
Another person joked, "Putin stole a blanket from a veteran" after noticing few others had one.
Journalist John Sweeney, who is currently reporting from Ukraine, tweeted: "Vladimir Putin - a blanket on his knees, his cheeks full, a hamster stuffed with steroids - cuts a weak and enfeebled figure as Russian Army rolls past the Kremlin.
"No declaration of big war; no call-up; no General Gerasimov. Listen: you can hear the knives being sharpened."
Another Twitter user, Wallis Weaver, said: "So, I watched some of the parade and I watched Putin carefully. Putin didn't look strong, he didn't look confident, and he didn't look happy. He looked old, tired, and fat/puffy. He was sitting for a while and had a blanket on his lap. Not a good look.
A third with the handle @JanGilb33464730 wrote: "Putin looks frumpy, and old today, looks like his health and/or the war is wearing him down."
Lord Dannatt told Sky News: "I was really just commenting on how President Putin looked.
"He doesn't seem to be moving as freely and as easily as one has seen him do to in the past.
Needless to say, Putin has indeed looked unwell lately. On April 21, when discussing the invasion with his defense minister Sergei Shoigu in a televised meeting, the "bloated" leader appeared to be grasping the corner of his desk hard in an apparent attempt to hide a trembling hand.
According to a Telegram channel called General SVR, Putin, who turns 70 in October, will be incapacitated "for a short time" this month after undergoing surgery. He planned to hand over the reins to close aide Nikolai Patrushev, the former chief of the Federal Security Service, while he recovered, according to the article.