Is Russian President Vladimir Putin ill? For months, rumours surrounding the Kremlin leader's state of health have been heating up.
Putin clings to table at meeting with Sergei Kulikov
Since the speculation arose, all of Putin's public appearances have been closely watched. This included his meeting with RusNano State Corporation CEO Sergei Kulikov in Moscow earlier this week, as reported by the Mirror.
Photos show Vladimir Putin determinedly holding onto the table during the meeting. He appears to be clutching the table so tightly that even his veins are bulging. There is also a visible dimple on his thumb, according to The Sun. So far, only pictures of the meeting have been circulated.
Bulging veins: Is Putin healthy?
As TheSun reports, bulging veins can be a sign of blood clots or an autoimmune disease. Or they may simply be a sign of advanced age—it's worth remembering that Putin will be 70 in 2022.
Professor Erik Bucy, an expert on body language from Texas Tech University, tells The Sun how Putin's body language might be judged in the footage:
This is not a portrait of a healthy Putin but one appearing increasingly feeble and barely able to hold himself upright at a small conference table. Putin’s legs also appear quite thin, as if he may be suffering from weight or muscle loss from an unannounced malady.
Bloating in his face reinforces an unhealthy appearance, especially compared to photographs and video of the Russian premiere from a few years ago. It’s an astonishingly weakened Putin compared to the man we observed even a few years ago.
Or is he weakened by illness?
This is not the first time the controversial Kremlin leader has been observed clinging to the table. Earlier this year, his body language was also analysed by experts.
It is suspected that he grips the table like that as he is feeling weak and trying to 'keep himself propped up,' as reported by The Sun. The rumours are that he's suffering from cancer or Parkinson's disease.
This article has been translated from Oh!MyMag DE.