Video from Vladimir Putin’s closely-watched meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Russia Wednesday showed the Russian president continuously twisting his foot, sparking a new round of speculation about the state of his health.
During the summit at the Vostochny spaceport, the two allies were sitting opposite one another, flanked by their translators, when Putin apparently began struggling with involuntary leg movements, which have been observed on prior occasions.
In the video, Putin, 70, repeatedly lifts and twists his left foot from side to side, before setting it back down.
As he continues to address his guest through an interpreter, the Russian leader bizarrely raises the twitchy foot and keeps it off the floor for several seconds.
This seemingly compulsive foot fidgeting continued throughout the photo-up, during which Putin mostly kept his hands awkwardly clasped in his lap.
Vladimir Putin, second from right, appeared to suffer from another bout of fidgety feet during his meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, second from left.Kremlin
Cameras captured the 70-year-old Russian president repeatedly listing and twisting his left leg as he spoke.
The footage from Wednesday’s meeting reignited talk about Putin’s health, having emerged 8 months after the last time the Kremlin strongman was observed in public oddly moving his legs and feet.
During a February meeting between Putin and his Belarusian counterpart, Alexander Lukashenko, the Russian president was captured on camera struggling with fidgety legs and gripping the arm of his chair.
Similar movements from Putin were also observed in Sept. 2022, when he squirmed his way through an event in Kamchatka.
On other occasions, Putin appeared to grip the edge of a table for support, was seen arriving on a visit to Tehran with a limp arm and was once spotted with suspected IV marks on his hand.
During a meeting with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko in February, Putin’s legs were observed twitching. SPUTNIK/AFP via Getty Images
It has long been rumored that the septuagenarian suffers from Parkinson’s disease, which can cause dystonia, or involuntary muscle twisting.
A string of other maladies have also been ascribed to Putin since the start of the Ukraine war, including various forms of terminal cancer that were supposedly hastening his end.
Unsurprisingly, the Kremlin has repeatedly dismissed these claims as hoaxes, insisting that Putin is in “good health.”
Russia’s leader appeared to struggle with involuntary leg movements during an event in September 2022.SPUTNIK/AFP via Getty Images
CIA chief Bill Burns agreed, commenting last year at the Aspen Security Forum that the Russian leader was “entirely too healthy.”
Britain’s MI6 chief Richard Moore, speaking at the same conference, was even more blunt, insisting that “there’s no evidence that Putin is suffering from ill health.”