'Purple hands': Putin's ill health British media's yet another speculation?
Russian President Vladimir Putin is sick, as per a new report by the British daily The Mirror, known for its tabloid-style journalism. It suggested Putin seemed uncomfortable, and one of his hands turned purple while clutching a chair during his meeting with Cuba's President Miguel Diaz-Canel y Bermudez on Tuesday. The report claimed Putin looked "bloated and pallid" and gave an "overall shrunken appearance."
Why does this story matter?
- Rumors about Putin's ill health have cropped up periodically but intensified since the Russia-Ukraine crisis.
- Several reports suggested that his health has deteriorated due to "stress" caused by the ongoing war.
- Reports claimed the 70-year-old is suffering from Parkinson's disease or blood cancer.
- None of such reports have been confirmed or verified, although the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) refuted similar reports in July.
Putin suffering from serious digestive problems, claims 'The Mirror'
The Mirror reported Putin was continuously moving his feet during the meeting with Bermudez and that his family and doctors were increasingly concerned for his health. It further said he has serious digestive problems caused by cancer and is on a strict diet. Last month, a similar report claimed that he was suffering from "spells of coughing, dizziness, abdominal pain, and constant nausea."
Netizens were divided on reports of Putin's ill health
I can't, alas, see a damned thing wrong with his hands. Can anyone else? https://t.co/ywonJUVkEG— Claire Berlinski. (@ClaireBerlinski) November 24, 2022
Wishful thinking, say other British publications
Earlier this month, Katie Stallard, a senior editor of The New Statesman magazine, called similar reports on Putin's health "wishful thinking." Stallard further said the British media has "diagnosed" Putin with various diseases. In May, based on a "leaked recording" of a Kremlin-linked oligarch, The Mirror claimed that Putin has been ill for five years. Some tabloids even suggested that Putin was already dead.
Many called out British tabloids for their uncorroborated claims
From Putin being terminally ill, to Putin's body doubles, to the Russian army consuming zoo animals, the Daily Mail is like a gift that keeps on giving... Giving the scraping the bottom of the barrel that is located below the ground type of "journalism". pic.twitter.com/vyPqTeYQvO— Fabushka (@fabushka_) November 22, 2022
Bermudez visited Moscow to unveil Fidel Castro's bronze statue
Notably, Bermudez was in Moscow to unveil a bronze statue of Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro. Putin and Bermudez also hailed the traditional friendship of both nations. A video of the event posted on the Kremlin's website became the source for The Mirror's "report."