Vladimir Putin is a ‘hypochondriac’ who is trying to ’embalm himself while he’s still alive’ with botox, a British war studies professor has claimed.
Professor Michael Clarke, a King’s College London fellow, said he has not seen any evidence to conclusively prove that the Russian leader is ill.
The president has been plagued with health rumours in recent years amid claims he is suffering from cancer of Parkinson’s after appearing shaky and bloated during his public appearances.
Vladimir Putin is a ‘hypochondriac’ who is trying to ’embalm himself while he’s still alive’ with botox, a British war studies professor has claimed (pictured today)
Professor Michael Clarke, a King’s College London fellow, said he has not seen any evidence to conclusively prove that the Russian leader is ill (pictured today)
But the military expert said Putin does regularly call on his team of doctors due to paranoia over his health.
Professor Clarke said on Sky News: ‘On 7 October he will be 70. He is known to hit the Botox quite heavily, I always say that he’s trying to embalm himself while he’s still alive – he does take a lot of Botox.
‘He moves around with doctors, there’s known to be a little team of doctors who are never far away, and it’s said that he leaves meetings at frequent intervals to go and consult with somebody.
‘I suspect that he’s only a hypochondriac, to be honest.’
The defence and security expert added: ‘I’ve spoken to a number of people who say you cannot detect Parkinson’s disease from the way he walks, you cannot detect symptoms of cancer just by looking at photographs.’
He said he has not seen enough ‘convincing evidence’ to suggest Putin is severely ill and it will impact his leadership.
But he added: ‘If he is ill, or becomes ill, that would be one way out for Russia to say that the president has stepped down and the war will now be prosecuted by Nikolai Patrushev – who’s every bit as nasty as he is.
‘At least it would be a change of face which the West might then be able to do something with, but that’s just a side possibility, really.’
It comes just days after a Kremlin insider claimed Putin had been advised by doctors not to make any ‘lengthy’ public appearances, having fallen ill amid recent discussions with his military chiefs.
The Russian President felt ‘a sharp sickness, weakness and dizziness’, while getting up from his desk following a recent video conference with advisers and military leaders, Telegram channel General SVR reported last week.
Vladimir Putin (pictured last week) has been advised by doctors not to make any ‘lengthy’ public appearances after he fell ill amid discussions with his military chiefs, a Kremlin insider has claimed
‘The President needed urgent medical assistance,’ claimed the channel which purports to have sources in the Kremlin and has made repeated claims over Putin’s alleged medical problems, including cancer and Parkinson’s disease.
The channel also cited the ‘dizziness’ incident to explain last week’s abrupt announcement that Putin’s annual ‘Direct Line’ live broadcast – a marathon Q&A when he answers questions from ordinary Russians over several hours – was postponed with no replacement date fixed.
It had been pencilled in for the second half of June or early July, but now no date is specified. Such unexplained cancellations are causing theories about his declining health to gain currency in the West.
Rumours over Putin’s deteriorating health have circulated for years but are rapidly gaining ground in light of recent events.
Myriad photos and videos have emerged since the invasion of Ukraine began in which the Russian leader appears bloated and uncomfortable, while other clips have shown him experiencing seemingly uncontrollable leg tremors and walking with poor co-ordination.
He has previously been seen in footage with a violently shaking hand and also gripping the side of his chair for stability.
Weeks ago, an officer from the Federal Security Service of Russia claimed Putin has ‘no more than two to three years to stay alive’.
An FSB officer described the Russian president’s condition as a ‘severe form of rapidly progressing cancer’, as speculation ramped up that Putin was suffering with some form of serious illness amid the invasion of Ukraine.
Putin reportedly underwent ‘successful’ cancer surgery and is recovering following advice from medics that treatment was ‘essential’, according to Telegram channel General SVR.
This infamous image of a bloated, hunched Putin gripping a table as he spoke with defence minister Sergey Shoigu earlier in the war triggered speculation over his declining health
General SVR claims to be authored by an exiled Kremlin lieutenant-general insider, known by the alias Viktor Mikhailovich, who purportedly has access to information the Kremlin refuses to publish.
It was the first outlet to suggest Putin was suffering from cancer.
British intelligence sources have also been quoted in various media reports telling outlets that Putin’s health was deteriorating.
But Kyiv military spy chief Kyrylo Budanov said previously he fears the Russian leader still has a ‘few more years’ left in him.
His comments suggested the Ukrainians believe Putin is suffering from cancer, but are unclear on how severe the condition could be and to what extent it could impede Putin’s ability to direct Russian military strategy and exert influence over the country.
The major-general also claimed Putin was the target of an assassination attempt shortly after launching his invasion.
He said the abortive bid was by representatives of the Caucasus, but did not release further details.
The report mirrored other claims that top-ranking Russian officials are said to be plotting a government without Putin, with Kremlin sources claiming insiders are already looking for ways to replace the Russian President.
The news outlet Meduza quoted sources claiming that high-ranking officials in Russia’s security services FSB and GRU – referred to as ‘hawks’ – believe Putin has botched the invasion and want to seize control of the operation.
One method of ‘moving things on’ without need for a violent coup would be to place him in a long term hospital for the incurably unwell, suggested former MI6 chief Richard Dearlove.
Rumours in Moscow persist that Putin has undergone recent surgery to treat his illness.
But in an interview with French TV, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said no one ‘sane’ could see any signs of illness in Putin, who reportedly has his food tested before eating it and bans his staff from standing too close to him.
‘You can watch him on screens, read and listen to his speeches,’ Lavrov said in comments released by the Russian foreign ministry.
‘I leave it to the conscience of those who spread such rumours.’
It comes after a new report revealed that his bodyguards have been collecting his excrement while on foreign trips in a bid to stop people gathering information about his health.
Federal Protection Service members are ‘responsible for collecting his bodily waste’ in special packets which are kept inside a dedicated briefcase until they return to Russia.
According to two investigative journalists at French news magazine Paris Match, the collection of Putin’s excrement is part of the Federal Protection Service’s job, as they are tasked with protecting high-ranking state officials at whatever cost.
Reporters Regis Gente, who wrote two books on Russia, and Mikhail Rubin, who has covered Russian current affairs for over ten years, say that two examples of Putin excrement collections were of the President’s visit to France on 29 May 2017 and to Saudi Arabia in October 2019.