Vladimir Putin 'not moving around as easily' says Lord Dannatt

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Questions have been raised over the Russian President’s health in recent months. Putin fuelled speculation today as he sat with a blanket over his lap at a military parade in Moscow in a stark contrast to the strongman image he has tried to project in the past.

One Twitter user, Wallis Weaver, said: “So, I watched some of the parade and I watched Putin carefully. Putin didn’t look strong, he didn’t look confident, and he didn’t look happy. He looked old, tired, and fat/puffy. He was sitting for a while and had a blanket on his lap. Not a good look.”

Another with the handle @JanGilb33464730 wrote: “Putin looks frumpy, and old today, looks like his health and/or the war is wearing him down.”

A third Twitter user, David Nelson, said: “Walking from the parade to the tomb, Putin barely moved his right arm, and walked with a limp, favoring his right leg. He is surrounded by bodyguards and appears to be wearing body armor under his overcoat.”

The Russian President used the military parade on Monday as an attempt to cast his brutal invasion of Ukraine as a necessary response to Western policies.

Putin claimed that his attack on Russia’s neighbour was necessary to ward off “an absolutely unacceptable threat just next to our borders”.

He also claimed the West had been “preparing for the invasion of our land, including Crimea”.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace today slammed Putin for his “fairytale claims”.

Mr Wallace said: “President Putin has made a number of fairytale claims for months and years now.

“If it wasn’t so tragic it would be amusing, but it isn’t.

“One of his claims is that he is surrounded. Nato accounts for 6 percent of his land border. That’s not being surrounded if only 6 percent of your land border is Nato countries.

“I think he is believing what he wants to believe – a slight shine of desperation.

“But let me put on the record categorically: Nato, Britain, eastern Europe is not planning to invade Russia and never has done.”

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