With the eyes of the world on Vladimir Putin, questions are being asked about the Russian leader’s state of mind after he announced the invasion of Ukraine in ‘rambling, terrifying, apocalyptic’ fashion. 

Rumours surrounding the Russian leader’s health have been swirling for years, with  repeated reports suggesting that he is suffering from cancer and Parkinson’s disease.

The President’s health and mental well-being cannot be understated. Long Covid has been linked to brain fog and cognitive impairment. 

Although it’s not clear if he’s had the virus, the Sputnik vaccine is not known to be reliable and after isolating in September after members of his inner circle tested positive he disappeared  from view for a long period in October. 

According to The Council For Foreign Relations, the US thinktank has suggested that Long Covid may be causing brain fog in this case. 

What’s more, the isolation caused by the pandemic itself could have left the 69-year-old even further detached from reality, with one neuropsychologist claiming the ‘progressive isolation’ could have led to hubris syndrome, which ‘diminished his ability to weigh up risk’.

FEMAIL spoke with Hussain Abdeh (Clinical Director, Medicine Direct). Hussain Abdeh described how the virus could affect a person’s mind.

He stated that early research into the pandemic found that COVID-19 was present in a few people. These individuals experienced sudden changes such as delirium and confusion.   

Speculation is mounting that Vladimir Putin could be suffering from the effects of long-Covid, which experts suggesting his ability to 'weigh up risk' may have been impacted during the pandemic

There is speculation that Vladimir Putin may be experiencing the long-Covid effects, with experts suggesting that his ability to “weigh up risk” might have been affected by the pandemic.

Pundits were amused earlier this month when photographs emerged of Emmanuel Macron kept at a distance during his crunch meeting with Putin over Ukraine

When photographs were published of Emmanuel Macron standing at a distance while he met with Putin to discuss Ukraine, pundits laughed earlier in the month. 

It’s often associated with loss of touch with reality and an overestimation oneself’s competence, accomplishments, or abilities.

This characteristic is manifested in a high level of self-confidence and recklessness, as well as contempt for other people. It’s most prominent among those who hold positions of power.  

Putin, surrounded by Russian cronies that are afraid to say no, isn’t the kind of leader one would associate with being most grounded or highest-ranking.

In the televised speeches leading to the invasion, he was by turns terrifying, frightening, and apocalyptic. Yesterday, however, he issued a chilling warning for its allies in West. He promised dire consequences to any foreign country that “interferes”.

In March 2020, Putin went to extraordinary lengths to avoid catching the virus during a hospital visit, donning a full hazmat suit at  Russia's main coronavirus clinic

In March 2020, Putin went to extraordinary lengths to avoid catching the virus during a hospital visit, donning a full hazmat suit at  Russia’s main coronavirus clinic 

Meanwhile Professor Ian Robertson, a neuropsychologist at Trinity College Dublin, has suggested Putin could be suffering from hubris syndrome. 

Robertson spoke to The I and stated that Putin’s political path is as personal as it was political. Once the hubris syndrome has taken hold, both the personal and national become identical, as the leader of the nation and its destiny.  

He also stated that changes to the brain’s frontal lobe could cause a person’s inability to assess risk. 

FEMAIL examines the various health problems that have plagued Putin in the past decade and the possible impact they have had on his mental condition.


Putin donned a complete hazmat suit for Russia’s coronavirus hospital to protect himself from the disease at the outbreak of the pandemic.

However, President Obama has been largely absent from the media during the Covid-19 crisis. Officials and journalists had to seclude themselves before they could meet him. 

Last year, Russian Olympic medalists invited to meet with president were told they would need to spend a week in quarantine before the meeting went ahead. 

True power does not go to the head. This is the syndrome that leaders get which results in a “loss of touch with reality”. 

Researchers say that hubris can be associated with loss of touch with reality as well as an exaggerated sense of one’s competence, accomplishments and capabilities.

This characteristic is most prominent in those who hold positions of power.

Hubris syndrome has been diagnosed in 14 clinical manifestations. The disorder could be identified in those who have at least three of the above symptoms.

In a 2013 study, researchers at St George’s, University of London, searched for evidence of some of these clinical features in the language used by three British Prime Ministers – Margaret Thatcher, Tony Blair and John Major – by examining transcribed samples of spoken language taken from Prime Minister’s Questions.

The authors believed that the frequent use of words and phrases such as “sure”, “certain” or “confident” or first-person pronouns, “I” or,” references to God, history or God, could be a sign of ‘hubristic”.

The researchers found that the positive associations between ‘I’,’me’, and the word “sure” were the strongest over the course of Tony Blair’s speeches.

They also discovered that languages become more complicated and less predictable when they are used in hubristic times.   

Professor Peter Garrard from St George’s University of London said that “Hubris syndrome” refers to a fundamental change in one’s perspective, style, and attitude when they achieve positions of power or high influence.

They are obsessed with themselves and their image, too sure of their judgments, dismissive of other people, which can lead to poor decisions.

In other words, power acquisition can lead to a personality change: almost like power ‘goes over their heads’.

“This work shows how language can express this high-characteristic personality change.” 

And in September, it emerged Putin had entered self-isolation after a member  of his entourage contracted Covid-19 despite extensive precautions.

Russian president cancelled a planned trip to Tajikistan. He also did not participate in a campaign for parliamentary election.

After being fully vaccinated by the Russian coronavirus vaccination Sputnik V, he received his second jab in March.

Paul Ettlinger, General Practitioner at The London General Practice. People are unable to return to a normal routine and have less ability to work.

It may include fatigue, muscle weakness, and other debilitating symptoms. 

“It’s a dysfunction of the autonomic neuro system, similar to chronic fatigue. It can result in inability or confusion to make informed decisions.

When assessing the effects on a person’s mental well-being, it is important to consider all aspects of the person. 

“For instance, a person who has been in intensive care for a while with Covid may be suffering from post-traumatic stress. They may feel lonely if they are unable to work due to their symptoms.

Mental fog is a form of cognitive impairment that can persist for a long time even after the patient has returned to their normal physical state. Many Covid patients have subtle cognitive impairment that is not recognized by their doctors.

A healthy diet and moderate exercise can help manage long Covid. Brain exercises will improve “brain fog” and cognition – so whatever familiar exercises you like doing, for example crosswords, bridge, wordle or simply reading a book which engages you.

Dmitry Peskov (Kremlin spokesperson) told reporters Putin was “absolutely healthy” but would need to be isolated if in close contact with someone with the virus.

Although he didn’t say how long Putin will remain in self-isolation for, he said that the president would continue to work as normal.

Peskov replied, “Ofcourse, yes.

Peskov didn’t say which of Putin’s contacts was infected. He only said that there were many cases.

According to Laurie Garrett, former senior fellow at Council on Foreign Relations, Putin disappeared from view in October. 

She tweeted: ‘It’s been suggested that #Putin isn’t thinking properly, perhaps due to long #COVID19  

“No evidence, of course. After COVID cases were discovered in his circle, he was placed into quarantine.

He disappeared from view for two weeks before holding an in-person meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

He continued with his videoconference meetings/public meetings.

Garett continued: ‘By October Putin had disappeared. There was widespread speculation that he was sick with #COVID19. 

“But it could also be that he wanted to remain safe. The Sputnik #vaccine isn’t very effective against variants — zip anti-#Omicron.’

She added: ‘During the fall, when #Putin was absent from public view polls show Russian people were increasingly mistrusting their President, and the government overall. 

Rumours spread, claiming that Putin was “paranoid”.

The footage filmed in November seemed to show that Putin was unwell. He had a severe cough during his TV appearance. 

Putin was in a meeting with government officials discussing the ‘acute economic problems’ caused coronavirus. He then developed a severe case of pneumonia.

Later editing was done to reduce Putin’s wheezing. 

TASS, the state news agency in Russia asked Putin about his health. He replied that he is ‘absolutely healthy’.

Vladimir Putin entered self-isolation after a member of his entourage contracted Covid-19 a day after meeting Syrian president Bashar al-Assad in September last year

Vladimir Putin entered self-isolation after a member of his entourage contracted Covid-19 a day after meeting Syrian president Bashar al-Assad in September last year 

According to the agency, “The President apologized for his mistakes and continued the meeting nearly without pausing.”  

It was claimed earlier this month that Emmanuel Macron was kept at a distance during their crunch meeting over Ukraine after the French President had refused to take a Covid test over fears the Russians would obtain his DNA.

The photos showing Mr Macron and Russia’s President seated opposite each other at a table measuring 13 feet long to discuss the crisis of eastern Europe caught the attention of pundits.

However, two people with information about Mr Macron’s health protocols said that Mr Macron was requested to do a Covid Test by the Kremlin prior to meeting Mr Putin.

Sources claimed Mr Macron was instructed by Russians to take a PCR testing and allow him to see the dictator or reject it and abide with stricter social restrictions.

According to Laurie Garrett, former senior fellow at Council on Foreign Relations, Putin disappeared from view in October after he came into contact with Covid cases in September

Laurie Garrett, a former senior fellow of the Council on Foreign Relations claims that Putin vanished in October, shortly after coming in contact with Covid cases. 

We knew that this meant that there was no handshake, and the long table. However, we couldn’t accept that they got their hands on President’s DNA,” a source claimed. This was in reference to security concerns, as Russian doctors could have tested the French leader.

According to the second source, Putin was told by Russia that he needed to remain in strict health care. 

He declared war against Ukraine days ago in a nonsensical and rambling speech. This was a chilling warning for its Western allies.

Garrett then tweeted that Garrett was suffering brain fog from #COVID19: “In recent @CFR_org meetings, #Putin specialists said his behavior is ‘offensive’ and not right. 

“No way to verify. His army may be infected or even dead, but a lot of them are surely there. 

Speaking to FEMAIL, Mr Abdeh said: ‘If you have severe acute COVID-19, it may result in cognitive impairment, such as concentration issues, confusion, and difficulty remembering things. This is commonly referred to as ‘brain fog’. 

COVID-19 refers to a respiratory condition. Studies have shown that COVID-19 can be associated with cognitive impairment. 

People who have been fatigued or are running low on energy may experience brain fog. 

Study finds that COVID-19 infections double the chance of getting psychiatric diagnoses, including anxiety and depression, and triple the likelihood of sleeping problems. 

A study last month found that COVID-19 infections can lead to fatigue, sleep issues, and other psychiatric problems long after the initial diagnosis.

Manchester University researchers used anonymized health records in the UK from approximately 12 million people to track those who had Covid over a period of up to 10 month.

Covid-infected patients were two times more likely to develop depression, anxiety, or other serious conditions after they had been exposed to the disease than non-Covid patients.

Additionally, they were three times as likely that they would be given psychiatric medication and twice as likely to complain of sleep disorders.

Additionally, patients who had negative Covid test results were twice as likely to develop the condition. This suggests that other factors than the biology of the coronavirus may also play an important role.

However, new research has provided evidence to support the longer-term health effects of Covid for patients’ mental and physical well-being.

Long Covid can cause fatigue, insomnia, and brain fog. Patients may experience these symptoms even weeks after initial infections.

Brain fog is an umbrella term that covers problems with memory and concentration.

An international study of Long Covid patient found that nine in ten had neurological symptoms or psychotic symptoms months after receiving their Covid diagnosis.

A few studies also suggest that Covid infection may be related to depression and anxiety. This is due to the brain inflammation and immune system.



TABLE ONE: 2014The Kremlin refuted reports that Putin might be suffering from pancreatic carcinoma, according to an American newspaper.

Dmitry Peskov (Russian president’s spokesman) was quoted as saying by RIA Novosti: “Dream on – and curse their tongues. It’s all normal.

Peskov was asked by The New York Post to comment on reports that had spread from The New York Post to other media.

According to the US newspaper, the report titled “Putin’s Health Woes” claimed that there was a rumour in Poland and Belarus about a 62-year old man suffering from ‘cancer of his spinal cord.

Richard Johnson of The Post wrote, however: “My sources tell me it’s pancreatic carcinoma. This is one of the deadliest forms of cancer.”

Vladimir Putin had cancer surgery on his abdomen, a prominent critic claimed in November 2020

Vladimir Putin underwent cancer surgery to his abdomen. This was claimed by a prominent critic in November 2020.

“Putin was being treated in the East by a physician,” continued the report.

Putin’s appearance would be explained by the fact that the doctor tried various treatment, including steroids.

“But I was told that the physician had quit in recent times, confiding to Putin’s security team.  

In November of that same year, Putin’s prominent critic claimed that Putin was suffering from cancer. He had surgery. 

Valery Solovei claims that he has sources “at the epicenter of decision-making”. He suggested that Putin, a 68-year old, had this operation in February.

An unnamed source also suggested that Putin was the one who underwent the surgery.

Putin’s current health was denied by the Kremlin. 

Solovei did not specify the exact date of Solovei’s alleged cancer operation. However, sources claim that Putin made his first appearance afterward at a flower-laying ceremony in February 19.  

Solovei claimed also that Putin’s lover, Alina Kabaeva (gymnast), had been pushing him to resign from power.   


This is not the first report that Putin has been battling health issues. 

Experts previously noted his ‘gunslinger’s gait’ – a clearly reduced right arm swing compared to his left, giving him a lilting swagger.

Asymmetrically reduced arm swings can be a sign of Parkinson’s. This is according to British Medical Journal. 

Russia circulated footage of Putin moving his legs as he gripped on the chair’s armrest, indicating that he was in poor health. 

The former KGB agent’s eyes are drawn to the twitching pen and cup in his fingers. 

Critics have previously noted his 'gunslinger's gait' – a clearly reduced right arm swing compared to his left, giving him a lilting swagger. An asymmetrically reduced arm swing is a classic feature of Parkinson's

Critics have previously noted his ‘gunslinger’s gait’ – a clearly reduced right arm swing compared to his left, giving him a lilting swagger. Parkinson’s classic hallmark is his asymmetrically reduced arm swing.

Solovei suggested, in addition to stating that Putin had cancer, also suggesting that he may have Parkinson’s. 

Solovei, former head of PR at Moscow State Institute of International Relations, believed at the time that Putin planned on stepping down in January due to his health problems and was planning to name daughter Katerina Tikhonova as his successor. 

Putin said that he was ill from psychological and neurological reasons.

“If you are interested in an exact diagnosis, please let me know. I’m not a medical professional and do not have the ethical right to share these details.

“The second diagnosed is much more serious than the first. Parkinson’s doesn’t threaten your physical health, it just restricts public appearances. 

“Based on these information, people will be in a position to draw a conclusion about the life of his family. This would not require any specialist medical training.

Mr Abdeh told FEMAIL: ‘An early sign of Parkinson’s that many people are completely unaware of is that it can change your walk in very subtle ways. 

They are subtle enough that the person suffering from them may not even be aware. People who are suffering from Parkinson’s may lose the natural swing in their arms while they are walking; this can occur in one or both arms.

‘As Parkinson’s disease progresses, a person may take longer to take steps as they walk. 

“They might take smaller steps or develop a shuffling gait. Their walking style may shift from one of natural gait and to one that is more rapid.

‘In advanced cases of Parkinson’s disease, sufferers may experience temporary ‘freezing’ moments, where they want to walk but feel frozen to the spot.

“This could mean their upper body is moving forward, but their legs remain where they are.”


Parkinson’s disease affects one in 500 people, including about one million Americans.

This can cause muscle stiffness, slow movement, sleep disturbances, chronic fatigue and severe disabilities.

A progressive neurological condition, it is the loss of movement-controlling cells.

Dopamine levels are lower in sufferers than those who have it, because the cells that produce it have passed away.

Although there is no known cure or way to stop the progress of the disease at this time, hundreds of research trials are being conducted.  

Muhammad Ali, a boxing icon and legend was killed by the disease in 2016.