Swelling of the face and neck, shaking hands and feet, unsteady walking, attacks on the leg, tics and convulsions – these are problems that recently Putin noted press. There has been speculation about his health for a long time, but more attention has been focused on him since the outbreak of the war in Ukraine. There is talk that Putin may be suffering from Parkinson’s disease or cancer. The Telegram account General SVR, referring to internal Kremlin sources, even reported that the president underwent surgery as part of his cancer treatment.
Confused words and volatile movements
“You have to live for something to die for,” sometimes even Putin’s statements are quite confusing, whether it’s this sentence from a Kamchatka feast for ornithologists, or a joke about a “rubber butt”, with which he tried to entertain the children last week in Kaliningrad. However, he laughed at him alone, the schoolchildren and teachers were somewhat confused by the words. “Our neighbor – Japan – is called the Land of the Rising Sun, but even further east is Kamchatka or Sakhalin, and further east is New Zealand and then even further is Chukotka. In this sense, Russia is the land of the rising sun,” the president declared.
More than his speech, Putin in Kamchatka attracted attention with his trembling limbs, his tame left hand convulsively clutching the back of the chair, his right hand the microphone, his legs were shaking and he couldn’t keep them still. He stopped in the capital of the Kamchatka region, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, on his way to Vladivostok, where he went to the Vostok-2022 military exercise.
While Putin admired the birds of prey, the Ukrainians continue their successful counter-offensive, advancing mainly into the Russian-occupied Kherson region. Russia continues to blackmail Europe by tightening the gas taps, thus European states are struggling with rising energy prices and at the same time trying to come up with alternatives that will last not only this winter.
Putin’s disappearance from public view
The Russian president has disappeared from public life several times in the past and now, his absence fueling rumors of poor health and speculation about medical procedures. He was the first such instance November 2012, when the Kremlin hastily canceled Putin’s work and foreign trips, and footage of the meeting was pre-recorded. Another absence came in March 2015when Putin disappeared for 10 days, the Kremlin used the same tactic, publishing pre-prepared images and videos.
The short absence was repeated in August 2017, when the president went into seclusion for a week. Surprisingly, he also disappeared during the election campaigneven in February 2018, At the time, reports of ill health were mitigated by his spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, by saying that Putin had an “ordinary” cold. The last time the president withdrew for a longer period of time in September 2021when he was in self-isolation for more than 2 weeks and communicated only through video conferences.
Analysts have pointed out that there could have been many absences during his reign, especially if the Kremlin is used to using pre-recorded videos.
Journalists are turning to doctors and political scientists, hoping to shed some light on the situation and explain what is going on with Putin. Doctors note that they cannot diagnose without an examination, they can only estimate, while political scientists point out that they are not doctors. However, both types of specialists focused on Putin’s characteristic “pistol walk”. For years it was pointed out that he was the result of training with the KGB. In recent years, however, it has become more and more noticeable.
One cannot fail to notice the asymmetrical movement of the hands as he walks. With his right hand, Putin hardly helps himself when moving, here the doctors agree – such asymmetry is a classic manifestation of Parkinson’s disease and “may appear in clinically intact subjects with a predisposition to later development of the disease, reports the British Medical Journal.
Poland will deliver 300 Piorun (Blesk) anti-aircraft missiles and 100 launchers to Estonia under a contract signed today by the defense ministers of both countries, Mariusz Blaszczak and Hanno Pevkur. Piorun short-range portable anti-aircraft missiles have proven themselves in the fighting in Ukraine. They are designed to shoot down planes, helicopters and drones flying at low altitude, the PAP agency wrote, without mentioning the value of the contract.
When signing the agreement, Blaszczak said that Estonia should receive the Polish missiles next year. This should not happen at the expense of supplies for the Polish army; the Polish government increased orders for these missiles in view of the war in Ukraine in June.
The Polish army is to receive a total of 3,500 missiles and 600 launchers from the Mesko arms company from the state holding of Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa (PGZ). Minister Pevkur described the signing of the agreement as a “historic moment” for both countries, for bilateral cooperation and for cooperation in the field of defense, as well as for the entire eastern wing of the North Atlantic Alliance.
Switzerland wants to remain neutral, but is considering strengthening security and military cooperation with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the European Union. This is stated in the report on neutrality, which was discussed by the Swiss government today, RTS writes. But because of Russia’s war in Ukraine, the country has to strengthen its defense capabilities and modernize the army.
Closer cooperation with NATO and the EU would mean, according to the document “increased participation in military exercises, expansion of military cooperation capabilities, intensified partnership with NATO and participation of the (Swiss) army in EU detachments for rescue and evacuation operations”.
This year’s report responds to changes following the Russian attack on Ukraine. According to the document, Moscow destroyed the international order in Europe based on international rules with its war. Virtually all European countries are thus strengthening their defense capacities and the ability to wage conventional war, according to a government report.
“Switzerland must be able to defend itself to the fullest extent possible,” stated Defense Minister Viola Amherdová. According to her, the Swiss army needs modernization. For example, it lacks modern anti-tank weapons. It should also strengthen the stockpile of ammunition and military equipment so that the country is able to face longer-lasting battles.
The Ukrainians could recapture Russian-occupied territory west of the Dnieper River, including Kherson, before winter begins. General and former head of the French military mission to the United Nations Dominique Trinquand stated this in an interview with France24.
Last week, Ukraine announced the launch of a counter-offensive against Russian forces in the south of the country, which Moscow’s troops occupied in the first weeks after the February invasion. Ukrainian officials do not provide more detailed information about the counter-offensive for tactical reasons.
But there are some indications that the mission is a success, Trinquand said. According to him, one of them was the Sunday speech of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who announced without much detail the conquest of two places in the south of Ukraine. “We can assume that if they’re talking about it despite the information embargo, it’s true,” stated Trinquand. The success of the counter-offensive also suggests the postponement of referendums on joining Russia in the occupied territories or the sending of Russian reinforcements to the south from the Donbass and the Crimean peninsula.
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