Putin's New Year's speech fuels rumors about his health
Created: 2023-01-02 15:50
By: Caspar Felix Hoffmann
Russian President Putin has released his annual New Year's address.
It gives rise to speculation about his health.
MOSCOW - Rumors about the health of 70-year-old Russian President Vladimir Putin have surfaced again over the New Year's weekend after he appears to be coughing frequently in a recent video.
Putin released his annual New Year's address on Saturday (December 31), in which he called the ongoing war in Ukraine a "sacred duty" for the Russian people and a struggle for Russia's sovereignty.
However, some journalists noticed parts of Putin's speech in which he coughed several times in rapid succession, prompting rumors that his health was in poor health.
In seven seconds, the Russian leader appears to cough three times while continuing to speak.
Russian President Vladimir Putin.
© Mikhail Klimentyev/Imago
Speculations about Putin's health: rumors dismissed as hearsay
Rumors of Putin's supposedly ailing health have been around for years, but have surfaced again since Russia's invasion of Ukraine began in late February 2022.
Ahead of the Russian leader's New Year's address, concerns were also raised when the Kremlin announced that Putin's year-end press conference had been canceled for the first time in a decade.
No official reason was given, but some newspapers, including British tabloid
, cited sources claiming that Putin's declining health was becoming increasingly apparent on camera.
The Kremlin's press secretary had previously dismissed such rumors as hearsay.
Vladimir Putin: The political career of the Russian head of state in pictures
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Rumors about Putin's health: No signs of illness
Moreover, last May, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov tried to dispel rumors about Putin's health.
"President Vladimir Putin appears in public every day," he said in an interview with French television.
“You can see him on screens, read him and listen to his performances.
I don't think sane people can see signs of disease or ill health." (cas)