Putin’s ‘puffy face’ could be due to sinister illness – 'travels with retinue of doctors'

Russia: Expert says Putin will slow down Ukraine advance

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Speculation over the health of Russia’s reclusive president has snowballed since the start of the Ukraine invasion. Now, independent Russian media outlet Proekt has claimed Vladimir Putin travels with an oncologist specialising in thyroid cancer, adding further fuel to speculation that Putin is not as well as he would have the world believe. The outlet claimed that Putin has become increasingly concerned with his own health in recent years. Proekt alleged that Putin makes regular trips to the resort city of Sochi in the company of doctors from Moscow’s Central Clinical Hospital.

They even claimed that the Russian leader attempts to boost his health by bathing in deer antlers.

These claims emerged in April this year, but speculation over Putin’s health has been a theme for years.

Speaking to the BBC Radio 4 podcast titled ‘Putin’ in April, former BBC Moscow Correspondent Sarah Rainsford discussed the claims.

She said in April: “There’s been endless speculation over whether he [Putin] might have cancer.

“His extreme isolation during Covid only added to those rumours…he is often seen with a puffy face which some say is due to his attempts to make himself look youthful-looking and inject himself with fillers.

“Others suggest it is the side effect of something like cancer. Certainly there has been speculation that he has been treated for something that serious.”

According to the medical website Health Central, thyroid cancer “may cause swelling in your face, especially in the jaw, cheeks, and area around your ears”.

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Putin news: Putin’s health has been the subject of speculation (Image: getty)

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Putin news: Putin travels with doctors according to Proekt (Image: getty)

Ms Rainsford added: “It has obviously been denied by the Kremlin, but certainly there was an interesting report recently by independent media known as Proekt who suggested Putin always travels with a large retinue of doctors.

“They pointed out that one of them was an oncologist and an expert in thyroid problems, and they were suggesting that this is perhaps the route of his problems.

“These are rumours, they have never been confirmed, but certainly this independent media outlet, a very good one, has pinned down the number of doctors that travel with Putin and linked that to absences during his long rule.”

Among Putin’s medical entourage, according to Proekt, is Evgeny Selivanov.

He is an oncologist surgeon, and was reported to have flown to the Russian President 35 times and spent a total of 166 days in his presence between 2016 and 2020

The only two doctors reported to have spent more time in Mr Putin’s company are two otolaryngologists – ear, nose and throat specialists – who Proekt notes are typically the first to diagnose thyroid diseases and cancers.

Ms Rainsford also told the ‘Putin’ podcast that it was once revealed that the Kremlin uses fake footage to disguise Putin’s absences from the public.

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Putin news: The Kremlin in Moscow (Image: getty)

She continued: “When I was thinking about this idea that Russia has its own realities and plays with its own truth, and frankly lies, I remembered that we learned during my time in Moscow about the Kremlin practice of keeping ‘canned footage’, as they called it, of meetings Putin held with senior officials.

“The meetings would be recorded and then stuck on the shelf. They would then be pulled out to be used when, often for health reasons, Putin would disappear from view.

“So whenever Putin had some health problem and disappeared for a couple of weeks, this canned footage would be pulled from the shelf and played to the nation to disguise the fact that Putin was actually absent.

“But that was unwittingly revealed to those more careful watchers of the Kremlin when a video of Putin meeting a governor was played at the same time as that governor was holding a meeting in his own province.”

Ms Rainsford left Moscow to become the BBC’s Eastern Europe correspondent last year after she was expelled from Russia.

Putin has been under the microscope in the last two months after he ordered his troops to invade Ukraine.


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Putin news: Russia invaded Ukraine earlier this year (Image: getty)

Putin news:

Putin news: A Ukrainian military figure says only Putin’s death can stop the war (Image: getty)

After weeks of bombardment and battles around the capital Kyiv, it has been reported that Russia will now concentrate its efforts in the east of Ukraine.

Ukraine’s top military spy chief, Major General Kyrylo Budanov, said this week that only the death of Putin can stop the war.

He told The New Voice of Ukraine when asked if Mr Putin would survive the war: “Leaving him a way to retreat is one of the strategies, but it is almost unrealistic.

“He is a war criminal for the whole world. This is his end, he drove himself into a dead end. Don’t worry, Ukraine will win.”

Boris Karpichkov, a former KBG agent who defected from Russia, told The Sun this week that Putin was becoming “obsessed by paranoid ideas” and may be suffering from health issues.

The former KGB agent listed Parkinson’s, cancer, or another medical condition as an explanation for his odd behaviour, adding his voice to the list of commentators speculating over Mr Putin’s health.

He added: “I am not a medic myself… but there is a serious concern that Putin is suffering from numerous physical health conditions — possibly from the sport injuries during his younger years.

“This is along with some issues which affect older people — such as dementia in the early stages.”

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