Putin health fears: Puffy-faced despot spotted in new pictures after Navy Day humiliation

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The despot was joined by Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu and Admiral Nikolai Yevmenov, head of the Russian Navy, as he took part in a parade marking Navy Day in Saint Petersburg today (Sunday). It comes as the celebrations in occupied Crimea were forced to be cancelled after a Ukrainian drone strike injured five men in a humiliation for the Russian armed forces.

There is growing belief that the aged Russian despot has some form of degenerative illness. The septegenarian could be suffering from cancer, according to some reports citing western intelligence sources, which could explain the puffy face.

This theory has also been used to attempt to understand why Putin has been seen rarely in public in recent months, as well as possibly why he entered an unprovoked invasion with seemingly unprepared armed forces.

At the Navy Day commemorations today, the Russian leader made a short speech – in sharp contrast to the longer conferences and addresses he has been known to make previously – in which he touted the potential power of Russia’s new Zircon hypersonic cruise missile, currently in production.

There, he signed a new naval doctrine which cast the United States as the main maritime rival, and set out strategic goals for areas such as the Arctic and Black Sea.

Putin did not mention the conflict in Ukraine during his speech but the military doctrine envisages a “comprehensive strengthening of Russia’s geopolitical position” in the Black and Azov seas.

It comes just hours after Ukrainian forces struck the headquarters of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet in Russian-held port of Sevastopol early this morning, Mikhail Razvozhayev, the Crimean city’s governor, said. He is quoted in Russian media as saying five staff members were wounded by the attack.

“An unidentified object flew into the courtyard of the fleet’s headquarters,” Mr Razvozhayev wrote on the Telegram. “According to preliminary information, it is a drone.”

He said Ukraine had decided to “spoil Navy Day for us”.

More to follow… 

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