Fact Check: Is A ‘Bloated’ Vladimir Putin Seriously Ill?

Moscow: Vladimir Putin has been roundly criticized for his decision to invade Ukraine. But despite worldwide sanctions being imposed on Russia, there are no signs of the Russian President lessening the shelling and bombardment on its neighbouring country.

Even as he sticks to his guns, there’s no doubt that Putin is under a lot of pressure.

A change in his physical appearance has prompted the British media to speculate what could be wrong.

Reports pointed out that Putin these days looks bloated and his face is oval. He apparently maintains ‘absurd’ distance from guests.

The Daily Mail reported, citing sources, that Putin is suffering from a brain disorder caused by dementia, Parkinson’s disease or ‘roid rage’ resulting from steroid treatment for cancer.

“There has been an identifiable change in his decision-making over the past five years or so. Those around him see a marked change in the cogency and clarity of what he says and how he perceives the world around him,” the paper wrote.

Some reports, quoting unnamed intelligence sources, said that Putin’s ‘volatile behaviour’ may be linked to the steroids that he is taking as treatment of Parkinson’s.

UK’s former Foreign secretary Lord David Owen had said earlier this month that Putin may be on anabolic steroids which can lead to hyper aggression.

“I think his immunity is compromised, either by cortical steroids given him for some other ailment or he is on the steroids you give to people with body lifting and weightlifting,” he said on BBC Newsnight.

“When he went into Crimea and went into those two regions which are Russian speaking, he prepared the Russian public very carefully-for it and explained very carefully. This time there was no consultation at all and even now, Russians are not being told this is an invasion… He is a changed man. I think he is acting out of character and he is very aloof now,” Owen observed.

There could be some merit in these ‘theories’, especially as many experts are at a loss to explain why Putin is not slowing down after 18 days of constant aggression by his forces which has resulted in widespread carnage in Ukraine.

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