The Russian offensive launched by Vladimir Putin on Ukraine is an act described by many experts as “madness”. A situation that supports the rumor that the Kremlin chief may no longer have his mind under control due to medical treatment.
Since the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, Vladimir Putin’s attitude has been particularly critical. A question arises: has the Russian head of state in recent months slowly but surely descended into madness †
Is his choice to invade Ukraine part of a plan devised for years by a “sensible” man? Opinions are divided, but the impressions Putin has left on certain foreign leaders (Macron, Merkel, etc.), accompanied by persistent rumors about his conditiondo not leave indifferent.
Treatment with steroids?
Latest hypothesis so far: According to Western spies, Vladimir Putin, 69, could be forced into treatment steroids to treat cancer. “Puffy” face, “increasingly erratic” behavior, worsened social distancing, support the rumor. According to the DailyMail, the Russian president is said to be a victim of a brain disorder caused by dementia, Parkinson’s disease or “roid rage” as a result of a possible treatment.
The world still remembers these images of the Russian leader on the other side of a table several meters across from Emmanuel Macron when he arrived in February, or excessively secluded from his closest associates at a meeting on February 28.
Precautions against the Covid taken to the extreme? Possibly according to Carole Grimaud Potter, geopolitical scientist specializing in Russia: “The rumors about Vladimir Putin’s health condition are not new, but his extreme fear of the Covid can no longer be proven. And nothing fate of course, coming from Russia, about his actual state of health, which might warrant such caution. It’s paranoia.”
“He constantly changed his face”
Vladimir Fedorovski, who will publish Putin and Ukraine, the Hidden Faces on Monday, has known Vladimir Putin since the early 1990s. That is, in order to approach an entire population of corrupt lawyers, schemers and bribe-holders.
The ex-diplomat recalls: “He was very inconspicuous when I met him. The key to his career was to disguise himself as a pumpjack at first. But I soon understood that with intelligence professionals he hid his strength and constantly changed his face according to the interlocutor. I had also noticed that he copied my gestures a bit. Later Chirac confided to me that he had noticed it too about him. He had laughed a lot when I explained to him the reason: it was a technique of “pseudo-mimicry ” taught in the secret services to put the interlocutor at ease. They say that President Zelinsky is an actor, but in the case Putin is the extraordinary comedian.”
A single president, cut off from everyone
Like many other details of his daily life: employing a taster, his refusal to buy a smartphone (he said so in 2018). The viral series in which he humiliates his foreign intelligence director, with all these elements, helps to anchor the image of an isolated president, alone in his palace, cut off from the world.
Memories of the Arab Spring and images of the remains of the overthrown President Gaddafi haunt the Kremlin resident, convinced that the West and the United States have wanted to bring down the Russian regime for years. This Wednesday, March 16, he again reiterated his mistrust of the West.
Russian President Vladimir Putin believes that the West would fail in what he called attempt at world domination and dismemberment of Russia. If the West, which has imposed heavy sanctions on Moscow, thinks Russia will back off, it’s because it doesn’t understand Russia, Vladimir Putin said on the 21st day of Russia’s military offensive in Ukraine. “Behind the hypocritical words and actions being taken today by the so-called collective West are hostile geopolitical targets. They just don’t want a strong, sovereign Russia,” he said.
“Withdrawn, paranoid and unpredictable”
“The threat can also come from within, according to Putin,” supports Carole Grimaud Potter. What else does it isolate. “It’s someone from” withdrawn† paranoid† unpredictablebut more than madness, I would speak of irrationalityexplains Segueï Jirnov, former KGB spywho rejects the image of a good strategist that others would want him to embodies: “What drives him is a matter of suicide† I heard Putin was a great chess player. That is not true.”
For Carole Grimaud Potter, her strategy is nevertheless based on a certain logic: “His attack may have seemed quite sudden, even to the Russian intelligentsia, but it is consistent with his view of geopolitics, including this restoration of influence, which would, in a sense, restore the influence of Russia. At least that’s how he hears it. It must be remembered that Russia has never radiated anything other than an imperialist way.” The hypothesis of a medical madness would then be ruled out. There remains the war madness, which is very real.