While the United States is excited for their new president to take office, a whole other storyline is playing out in another of the world's most powerful countries: Russia. According to several local sources, Russian President Vladimir Putin is exhibiting the first symptoms of Parkinson's disease.
The Sun, who gathered all the information, published an article according to which the 68-year-old man had stiff fingers and restless legs during his last official outings, both early signs of the ruthless disease. The consequences could be significant: the article stated that Vladimir Putin could be preparing to retire from politics. What's more, his partner, gymnast Alina Kabaeva, and his daughters apparently want to see him leave office as soon as possible.
As for Vladimir Putin himself, it appears he does not wish to withdraw... but he may have no choice in the end. Moreover, Professor Valery Solovei, an expert in Russian politics, says that the Head of State will soon be making a public announcement about his condition and the future of the presidency. He stated:
here is a family, it has a great influence on him. He intends to make public his handover plans in January.
However, the Kremlin was quick to respond to these rumours. The spokesman for the Russian government, Dmitry Peskov, declared that Vladimir Putin had 'no intention of resigning', adding that he was 'in excellent health'. He stated:
It’s absolute nonsense. Everything is fine with the president.
Vladimir Putin, president of the Russian Federation from 1999 to 2008 and from 2012 on, is preparing a reform of the constitution that would include an extension of immunity from prosecution and life sentences for former heads of state. Obviously, such a reform would probably benefit him.