President Vladimir Putin on Sunday attended an Easter mass conducted by the Russian Orthodox Church, which has strongly backed the Kremlin leader’s “special military operation” in Ukraine.
Putin, dressed in a dark blue suit, a white shirt and dark purple tie, stood to one side in Moscow’s Christ the Saviour Cathedral, holding a lit red candle, live images of the midnight service showed.
Questions have emerged on whether Russian President Vladimir Putin really attended an Orthodox Easter service in Moscow this past weekend after pictures issued by the Kremlin bore a startling resemblance to images from last year.
The images, purportedly taken one year apart, appear to show Putin dressed in the same suit and look extremely similar – the only clearly discernible difference being the color of his tie.
Putin however attended the midnight Easter service to mark Orthodox Easter on Sunday morning – April 24 – alongside Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin at Moscow’s huge gold-encrusted Christ the Saviour Cathedral.
Fresh theories surrounding Vladimir Putin’s health are circulating after a recent appearance by the Russian president showed him biting his lips, fidgeting and appearing unsteady.
Mr Putin’s appearance at a church service has now sparked rumours that he is unwell after he seemed unable to stand still during the service.
A nervous-looking Putin fidgeted and appeared distracted while watching the church service.
His health was also called into question after a video showed him clutching a table and tapping his thumb and foot during a meeting with Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu.
The video showed Putin and his key adviser “both depressed & seemingly in bad health,” tweeted Anders Aslund, a Swedish economist who was previously an adviser to Russia.
Putin's meeting with Shoigu today shows both depressed & seemingly in bad health. Shoigu has to read his comments to Putin & slurs badly, suggesting that the rumors of his heart attack are likely. He sits badly. Poor performance. Worth watching.https://t.co/SHRRxZxbJf
— Anders Åslund (@anders_aslund) April 21, 2022
Former UK politician Louise Mensch said the footage appeared to back earlier reports that “Vladimir Putin has Parkinson’s disease.”
Other reports have suggested that Putin has recently had 35 secret meetings with a cancer doctor — and has become so paranoid about his health that he has turned to unconventional therapies.
The Russian leader is said to bathe in blood extracted from deer antlers, which are hacked off while they are growing and still full of fresh blood, according to Russian investigative outlet The Project.
PS: I reported, Vladimir Putin has Parkinson’s disease and here you can see him gripping the table so that his shaking hand is not visible but he cannot stop his foot from tapping. https://t.co/BCRQzB9haP https://t.co/Yq2GbLxyfo
— Louise Mensch 🇺🇸🇺🇦 (@LouiseMensch) April 21, 2022
Shoigu does not appear to have fared any better than Putin 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.
Last week, a Russian-Israeli businessman claimed Shoigu suffered a heart attack, which he suspects was caused by foul play.
Leonid Nevzlin claimed Shoigu had been in intensive car after suffering ‘a massive heart attack’ which ‘could not have occurred due to natural causes’, suggesting Putin’s longtime ally may have been the subject of an assassination attempt.