Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has denied speculation that President Vladimir Putin is ill. In an interview with French television, Lavrov said that the Russian leader appears in public every day and no sane person can see signs of illness.
There is increasing, unconfirmed speculation in the foreign media that Putin, who will turn 70 this year, may be in poor health. In many places we can read that the Russian minister may be suffering from cancer.
Lavrov noted that President Putin appears regularly in public places. “I don’t think reasonable people can see any signs of illness or disease in this person,” he told TF1. “You can see evidence of his authenticity on the screens, and read and listen to his speeches,” he added in a message via the Russian Foreign Ministry.
Watch here the photos fueling the rumors:
British intelligence sources are said to have told the media that Putin has been seriously ill over the past week. However, rumors about the health of the Russian leader, who has long been known for his healthy lifestyle and love of sports, have been surfacing for years.
“Western intelligence agencies are closely monitoring President Putin’s health, both mentally and physically,” security expert Frank Gardner told the BBC. “This is not only because he ordered a poorly planned invasion of Ukraine, but also because he has almost the sole authority over the use of Russia’s formidable nuclear arsenal.” According to Gardner, intelligence agencies need to know if Putin is about to launch an unplanned nuclear attack.
However, according to the security expert, Putin is not mentally weak: “His hostility to the West has increased tremendously.”
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