Putin health fears as grimacing despot seen tightly gripping desk

Expert gives opinion on Putin's health after limping video

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During recent months, Russian President Vladimir Putin has been seen gripping the desk at the Kremlin in an apparent attempt to stop his hand shaking amid speculation he is suffering from the early stages of Parkinson’s Disease. But now in a meeting with Viktor Zolotov, he once again gripped the table as Russia’s Director of the Federal Service of National Guard Troops tells him invaded Ukrainians are showing their “support” for occupying Russian soldiers.

The latest bizarre scene shows Putin – who at one point is seen biting his lip – sat across from his most trusted general in the meeting at the Kremlin today.

On this occasion, Putin not only clasps the desk with his right hand, but at another point in the meeting, also with his left hand.

In text from the meeting published the Russian President’s official website, Putin starts the meeting by wanting to discuss the performance of the National Guard units during the special military operation in Donbass.

Zolotov replies: “Mr President, in the course of the special military operation the National Guard troops are accomplishing a wide range of objectives to maintain law, order and security, and to resume peaceful life in the liberated territories of the Donetsk and Lugansk republics, as well as in the Zaporozhye and Kherson regions.

“We are directly involved in military operations, namely, reconnaissance and search-and-destroy missions, ambushes, locating and eliminating the enemy’s sabotage and reconnaissance teams, sabotage and terrorist groups, as well as locating arms caches and removing mines.

“We also conduct reconnaissance missions, pinpoint targets, and we destroy them using our own artillery, or we contact the Defence Ministry if the range and power of artillery systems at our disposal are not enough.

“They use heavy artillery or military aircraft to hit the enemy, and we mop up these areas later on.

“In addition, Russian National Guard patrols critical state property, infrastructure facilities and communications infrastructure.

“We facilitate humanitarian security, and we escort shipments and convoys. We also provide medical services to local population, and we treat civilians. This is the range of our tasks.”

Zolotov also goes onto claim that he believes “the population of the liberated areas is supporting us”.

This is despite Russia having lost tens of thousands of its own troops during the war in Ukraine so far.

Putin’s most trusted general adds: “I would like to emphasise that we can feel that the population of the liberated areas is supporting us.

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“They realise that we are defending their right to a peaceful life and their children’s happiness. This, too, is one of our tasks.”

The latest Kremlin meeting comes with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky urging Russian soldiers to flee for their lives after his forces launched an offensive to retake southern Ukraine.

Ukraine has said its ground forces had gone on the offensive in the south for the first time after a long period of striking Russian supply lines.

Mr Zelensky said in a late night address: “If they want to survive, it’s time for the Russian military to run away. Go home,Ukraine is taking back its own (land).”

But Moscow has hit back, with Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov insisting Russia is continuing to press o with its plans in Ukraine.=

He said: “The special military operation continues, it continues methodically, and in co-ordination with the current plans. All objectives will be fulfilled.”

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