As the war in Ukraine shows no sign of abating, some analysts have questioned the Russian President’s health and state of mind. Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has suggested that the former KGB spy may be suffering from “small man syndrome”.
One wife of a Russian oligarch said she is scared as Putin won’t care about the consequences of the war if he is ill.
Speaking on Times Radio, psychotherapist Lucy Beresford said Mr Wallace’s comments were an attempt to “diminish” Putin but that he may have a “self-destructive death wish”.
She said: “That was an attempt to diminish what Putin is doing as if to say, ‘you’re such an inferior person, you’re so small, that actually you have to run around and show everyone how great you are… in order to compensate for your own inadequacies’.
“He’s got that potential for being very dramatic.
“But he might also have this self-destructive death wish really, almost a desire to be caught because you’ve got to the point where he believes he is invincible but he almost needs someone to stop him and say, ‘no you’re not, go back into the playground’.”
It comes as Tatiana Fokina the wife of mobile phone mogul Yevgeny Chichvarkin said she was “frightened” about rumours regarding Putin’s health.
Speaking on the Parmont+ documentary Secrets of the Oligarch Wives, she said illness could mean the Russian President may not be concerned about the impact pact of his actions.
She said: “There are rumours that he is ill…and I think they’re likely to be true, and if they are true…that makes me really frightened because a person who is really ill doesn’t really care about what happens next.”
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Russia expert Fiona Hill told Politico: “He’s been rather puffy-faced.
“We know that he has complained about having back issues.
“Even if it’s not something worse than that, it could be that he’s taking high doses of steroids, or there may be something else.”
The former deputy assistant to ex-US President Donald Trump added that there did seem to be an urgency over the Ukraine invasion which might also be driven by personal factors.
Putin was cautious during the Covid pandemic, leading some to speculation that his immune system is already compromised and he would be at risk if he were to catch the virus or another illness.
He was also photographed wrapped in a blanket during the Victory Day Parade in Moscow.