There has been speculation about Putin’s physical health, with many noting he has looked bloated in the previous months. Others say Putin has been keeping his distance from others because of his fear of contracting COVID. Experts say while he does look different, it could just be due to aging.
A Russian historian and author warn that reports of Putin’s mental health could be planted by the Kremlin to mislead and scare the world.
“The reports could be even Russian disinformation to give us the impression that he’s mentally ill and therefore dangerous. We just don’t know,” David Satter said on “Morning in America.” “And we just have to work with the fact that we have the whole decision to invade Ukraine by any normal measure was irrational. And it was somewhat different than decisions he’s made in the past, which were very carefully calculated. But that’s all we have. We’re not doctors and any information that comes out of the Kremlin from so-called Kremlin sources could be tainted.”
Satter said Putin’s recent behavior is perfectly in line with how he has always acted.
“In terms of his willingness to sacrifice people’s lives, he’s no different,” Satter said. “He came to power not five years ago, but 22 years ago, as the result of a terrorist act against his own people, apartment buildings were blown up in Moscow, and the war was started.”
Putin’s past is littered with killings and poisonings.
Andrij Dobriansky, director of communications for the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America, said this is Putin’s pattern.
“He has done political killings since right before he became president,” said Dobriansky. “So his manner of dealing with the world has been quite not just pronouncedly immoral, but this is something that he has always done.”
A former CIA official spoke with NewsNation earlier this month, saying that Putin has likely become more isolated and paranoid in recent weeks, but that does not mean he is mentally unstable.
“President Putin is, in my opinion, an egomaniac, someone who is psychologically preoccupied with his own identity,” said one former CIA official. “He’s not crazy; in my opinion, his goal is simply to seek personal power.”