The Kremlin has rejected claims that Russian President Vladimir Putin may have Parkinson’s disease and be poised to quit early next year.
Professor Valery Solovei, a Russian political pundit, who suggested earlier this week on a Moscow radio station that Putin was under pressure from his entourage to step down due to fears for his health.
According to him, Putin’s gymnast lover Alina Kabaeva, as well as his daughters Maria Vorontsova, 35, Katerina Tikhonova, 34, were urging him to step down.
The Russian strongman came to power in Russia in 2000 and has kept an iron grip on the country.
A video showing the 68-year-old’s legs shaking while he held tightly to a chair had raised suspicions about his health.
In the recent clip, a pen appears to twitch in his hand, while a cup was filled with painkillers, analysts told The Sun.
“There is a family, it has a great influence on him. He intends to make public his handover plans in January,” Prof Solovei said, adding a new President will be being “groomed”.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the media report based on Solovei’s assertions was false.
“It’s absolute nonsense,” said Peskov. “Everything is fine with the president.”
Asked if Putin was planning to step down in the near future as Solovei had suggested, Peskov said: “No”.