A top Royal Navy admiral claimed Vladimir Putin may have cancer, making him a “man in a hurry” to invade Ukraine
While his sanity has been questioned over the decision to invade Ukraine, the physical health of Vladimir Putin has also been a subject of intense debate over recent days.
Retired Royal Navy Admiral Chris Parry said that he believed President Putin could be battling cancer, and suggested it could be this alleged medical condition that prompted the decision to press ahead with war.
His comments came on Friday (4 March) during a debate in Portsmouth, and were reported by our sister title The News.
It follows rumors over the Russian President’s state of health and pictures of him sitting at a bizarrely long table when holding meetings with senior world leaders and military commanders.
What’s been said about Putin’s health?
Speaking to youngsters in an hour-long seminar at the Portsmouth Grammar School, the top naval officer explained where he thought the war between Putin and Ukraine could go.
He said that he believed president Putin could be battling cancer, which has caused him to invade Ukraine.
“He has been using these very long tables to interview people,” Falklands veteran Rear Admiral Parry said.
He added: “I think his immune system might be suppressed at the moment.
“So he is a man in a hurry.”
People who are taking immune-suppressing medication, such as cancer patients or those with chronic conditions, are known to be at a higher risk of contracting a severe case of Covid.
There has been speculation about whether this is behind Putin’s decision to sit meters away from foreign leaders and even his own colleagues.
In February the Russian leader was photographed speaking to French president Emmanuel Macron across a 13ft table.
His extreme measures have sparked rumors that the leader is terrified of catching Covid because he’s vulnerable to a severe infection.
Does Putin have cancer?
Over the years there has been much speculation over the Russian President’s health, despite the leader taking part in photo-calls playing ice hockey or practicing his beloved judo.
Valery Solovei, political scientist and former head of the Public Relations Department at Moscow State Institute of International Relations, has previously claimed Putin has cancer as well as symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease.
He claimed Putin had emergency surgery in February 2020.
Another Russian source went on to claim it was an abdominal cancer operation.
In 2020 Professor Solovei spoke of Putin’s health traumas: “One is of psycho-neurological nature, the other is a cancer problem.
”The second diagnosis is a lot, lot more dangerous than the first named diagnosis as Parkinson’s does not threaten physical state, but just limits public appearances.”
He added: “But there is a fatal diagnosis.”
The Kremlin has not commented on the speculation that Putin is ill.
Is Putin’s face more bloated?
In recent weeks Putin has appeared to be looking noticeably more bloated around the face and neck – suggesting he might be undergoing treatment with steroids for a health condition.
In pictures released by the Kremlin he was described as looking “ashen and bloated.”
The 69-year-old President looked pale and unfit as his forces started to invade neighboring Ukraine.
Side effects of steroids include increased risk of infection – which it is claimed could explain his paranoia about catching Covid. They can also spark “mood and behavioral changes”.
According to Macmillan Cancer Support, a high dose of steroids can cause confusion or even changes in thinking.
Fiona Hill, the British former senior White House expert on Russia, told Politico: “Putin’s not looking so great, he’s been rather puffy-faced.
“We know that he has complained about having back issues.”
She added: “Even if it’s not something worse than that, it could be that he’s taking high doses of steroids, or there may be something else.
“There seems to be an urgency for this that may also be driven by personal factors.”
What could Putin do next?
During the discussion with children at Portsmouth Grammar School, Rear Admiral Parry warned of how far Putin might take the invasion of Ukraine.
“What I think will happen is he will occupy Ukraine to the east of the Dnieper (river), he will totally occupy this region known as ‘New Russia’ across the bottom of the country, cutting Ukraine off from the Black Sea, and he will leave that rump of the north west, to the west of Kyiv to its own devices as long as it stays neutral,” he said.
He warned that Putin could seek to create a new land bridge in the south of Ukraine, encompassing Crimea (which Russia annexed in 2014) with the Ukrainian naval port of Odessa in the west and Russia in the east.
The naval veteran also warned that Putin might not stop there, with Moldova potentially on his radar to invade.
“I think that’s his next target,” he added.
Moldova is not part of NATO but does have relations with the organization through the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council.
It doesn’t have any active plans to become a member of the organization and is constitutionally neutral.
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