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Like Hitler, does Russia's Putin suffer from Parkinson's? Viral videos spark suspicion

Footage of Russian President Vladimir Putin shaking uncontrollably sparks Parkinson's rumours, as war in Ukraine continues to escalate.

Like Hitler, does Russia's Putin suffer from Parkinson's? Viral videos spark suspicion snt
Russia, First Published Apr 27, 2022, 3:52 PM IST

Amid rumours about his deteriorating health, two videos showing Vladimir Putin's struggles in controlling his hands and legs have fuelled rumours that the Russian President has Parkinson's.

Earlier this week, a video of a bloated Putin seen gripping a table as he slumped and tapped his foot continuously during a meeting with his defence chief, Sergei Shoigu, went viral, raising speculations that the President has Parkinson's. 

Two days ago, another video surfaced, reportedly filmed before Russia invaded Ukraine in February. The clip showed Putin's hands shaking uncontrollably just moments before greeting his Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko.

Putin has long been suspected of having a secret health battle - with theories ranging from cancer to Parkinson's. And this latest appearance was one of the most shocking yet, as the Russian President did not exude his usual strongman bravado.

Putin looked dishevelled, in pain and distracted. These visuals are reminiscent of a clip showing German dictator Adolf Hitler's deteriorating health as his country faced total defeat in the Second World War.

Also read: Is Putin's family hidden in a nuclear war proof hi-tech bunker in Siberia?

In April 1945, Hitler was seen outside of his Berlin bunker in one of his last times. A propaganda video filmed during that time showed the dictator decorating members of the Hitler Youth. The film was intended to display how Hitler was still in command, even as the Soviet Union's troops closed on the capital.

However, a telling part of the footage was intentionally cut out from the final version. The edited portion, discovered in an East German film laboratory almost three decades later, showed the Nazi leader's left hand shaking rigorously. He held it behind his back while greeting military officers during the same trip outside his bunker. 

Several historians believe that Hitler had Parkinson's when this video was filmed. The disease destroys muscle control and impairs mobility.

In 2014, British historian Richard Evans revealed how the Nazi leader began to show symptoms of the disease earlier in the war. 

"He had a shake in his left hand and for a time that was cured as it were by the bomb that went off on July 20, 1944 (attempt on Hitler's life). As he said, that's not the way I would choose of curing it. But soon after that, the shaking came back in his right side. He began to drag his feet and shuffle. He began to speak in a more flat, less animated sort of way," Evans told Smithsonian Channel.

Existing records show the German dictator's doctor Theodor Morell first noted his tremor in 1941 but put it down to stress. During the final days of the war, Morell concluded that Hitler was suffering from 'shaking palsy' - the original name for Parkinson's disease. 

The Nazi leader killed himself inside his bunker, which was built near Berlin's Reich Chancellery, on April 30, 1945. Hitler took his own life alongside his wife Eva Braun, who he had married the day before. Germany was on the brink of total defeat against Allied and Russian forces by then.

Russia invades Ukraine: Why Putin's blueprint reminds of Hitler's strategy

Putin is seen standing up waiting for Lukashenko in the video recently surfaced as his hand trembles violently. The Russian President instantly pulls it towards his chest to quell the quiver and then almost stumbles before he unsteadily walks towards his Belarusian counterpart. The resurfaced video will do little to dampen the already existing rumours about his potential illness.

The discovery backs recent theories that Putin declared war when he suffered medical problems hidden from the Russian people. Back in November 2020, political analyst Valery Solovei revealed cancer and Parkinson's theory claiming that the Russian President also needed to have emergency surgery.

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