Questions surrounding Vladimir Putin’s health continue to be raised after footage shows the Russian president fighting to stay awake in a recent meeting, the Daily Mail reported on Wednesday.
Putin, 69, was joined by several other Russian leaders in appearing disinterested and tired in the video of a state council discussion on improving Russia’s limited tourism sector.
The sleeping could primarily come from the president and his officials passing across seven time zones to reach the far east city of Vladivostok, which sits on the edge of Russia’s border with Manchuria and North Korea.
Putin also reportedly informed doctors, however, about lingering fatigue and trouble breathing while traveling to the city to attend the 2022 Vostok military exercises held jointly with China.
“Even before the flight to Kamchatka, President of Russia Vladimir Putin had worsening problems with his kidneys, swelling of his face appeared, [and] ‘bags’ under his eyes clearly appeared,” the independent Russian news outlet General SVR wrote on Telegram.
“Despite the use of drugs, there was no clear improvement,” the outlet continued. “Upon arrival in Kamchatka, Putin complained to doctors about fatigue and shortness of breath.”
The Russian network also reported that a body double was prepared to jump in if Putin could not attend the meeting.
“But the president nevertheless decided to participate in pre-planned activities,” it reported.
News of the leader dozing comes after Putin was spotted twitching his leg uncontrollably on Monday at the National Environmental Youth Forum in Kamchatka, the New York Post noted.
Still, both Russian and Western officials have consistently denied that Putin is suffering from any substantial health problems, including Central Intelligence Agency Director William J. Burns and U.K. Secret Intelligence Service chief Richard Moore.
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