Russian political scientist Valery Solovei has alleged that a recent speech made by the Russian President Vladimir Putin reveals that he is under the influence of strong drugs. Recent images of Putin meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping have also fuelled more speculation about his health.
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Vladimir Putin is 'high on speed'
Putin made a speech on 16 March in Moscow at the Congress of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RSPP). Solovei claims his rambling speech shows that he is under the influence of strong drugs.
Solovei said on the Morning Turn program on the Zhyvyi Hvozd (Living Nail) YouTube channel:
If you watched at least a part of the speech to entrepreneurs, you can see a person high on speed, as young people say, meaning someone using powerful stimulant drugs.
Solovei claimed the things the President said during the speech 'were provoked by the drugs and the corresponding changed state of mind'.
Top Russian businessmen and oligarchs seemingly snubbed the congress, with only six people out of the top 20 on the Russian Forbes list attending, according to The New Voice of Ukraine.
Putin's 'end could come in a violent death'
More recently, images of the head of the Kremlin once again gripping his chair and fidgeting restlessly while meeting President Xi Jinping in Moscow have sparked even more rumours about his health.
Richard Kemp writes for The Telegraph that 'the immense stress that must press upon him could rapidly exacerbate his illness and directly affect his mental processes and judgement'.
Kemp continues that the 'crushing burden' of 'presiding over a war which has been goingcatastrophically wrong for the last year' would be tough for any democratic leader, but more so for an autocratic one. He added:
As ruler of the Russian autocracy Putin is well aware that his end could come in a violent death. Short of that, he will also know that he could face jail time following the arrest warrant for war crimes issued last week by the ICC.
The New Voice of Ukraine: 'Putin is under the influence of strong drugs, Russian political scientist says'
The Telegraph: 'Vladimir Putin’s health may be disintegrating and it should terrify us all'