Putin almost always accompanied by cancer specialist, survey finds

Picture by KREMLIN PRESS SERVICE/HANDOUT/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Remember all those sexy and shirtless photos of Russian President Vladimir Putin in the 2000s? Let us refresh your memory.

At the time, Putin wanted Russian citizens think of him as a hardy, athletic outdoorsman, and was often photographed swimming and horseback riding, among other activities.

Putin, now 69, was 47 when he took office, first as Prime Minister in 1999, then in 2012 as President. But his health deteriorated in the years that followed, and a new report published by a Russian investigative newspaper Project earlier today found that the leader keeps multiple doctors on hand at all times, even keeping cancer specialists on call at all times.

Due to Putin’s athleticism, we pretty much already knew that his back and spine were destroyed. Project reports that Putin suffered several sports injuries from falling from his horse and that in the early 2000s he fell so badly that he was temporarily knocked unconscious and could not get up. In 2012, he limped so noticeably during a television appearance that the Kremlim asked the media to use only still photos and cut out all video footage of the president walking, and he has since been knocked down by veteran ice hockey player during an exhibition.

That doesn’t mean Putin doesn’t get a treatment, even if some of them are pretty Woo-woo, including the antler bloodbaths he supposedly takes. Others are more practical and suggest Putin may actually be battling thyroid cancer, as he regularly travels with a group of doctors and keeps a list of others on call at all times.

In 2019, Putin went skiing with his Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko. According to Projecttwo intensive care specialists, a neurologist, a dermatovenerologist, two ENT specialists and a surgical oncologist stayed at the exact same complex at the same time.

Surgical oncologist Evgeny Selivanov spent 166 days with the president in four years of service, according to the report, and was close to Putin each time the president disappeared from public view. Otorhinolaryngologists Igor Esakov and Alexey Shcheglov are the only two doctors who fly to Putin more often than Selivanov.

This is important because diseases like thyroid cancer are usually diagnosed by an ear, nose and throat specialist. Then an oncologist and a surgeon help to treat the patient.

It goes without saying that there is no shame in physical injuries or disabilities of any kind, and pain or chronic illness should not exclude anyone from leadership. But Putin and his lawyer see the admission of the disease as a sign of weakness, so the cadre of specialists is stark.

It’s pretty sad that in 2022 a 69-year-old couldn’t let the people he serves know that he might be battling a serious illness. Both for the rights of disabled people and for visibility, it seems little has changed since FDR’s tenure.

And for someone with Putin’s immense power, of course – not to mention his involvement in the ongoing war in Ukraine – the idea that he might be dealing with serious health issues is a matter of keen geopolitical interest.

Learn more about political medical news: Police discover fetuses at home of anti-abortion activist

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