War in Ukraine: “paranoia”, “irrationality” … how Vladimir Putin became the Kremlin’s madman

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There are regular rumors about Vladimir Putin’s health. The most recent speak of “anger” from steroid treatment for cancer or brain disorders due to Parkinson’s disease, or even the onset of dementia. Difficult to see clearly, especially since the secrecy surrounding the Russian president’s health is closely guarded.

Since the “official” start of the war in Ukraine on the night of February 24, Vladimir Putin’s attitude has been particularly critical, in even greater proportions than in the past. Has the Russian head of state slowly but surely gone mad in recent months? Or 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 health condition, do not leave anyone indifferent.

Latest hypothesis so far: According to Western spies, Vladimir Putin could be forced into steroid-based treatment for cancer. “Puffy” face, “increasingly erratic” behavior, worsened social distancing, support the rumor.

Also read:
War in Ukraine: Putin suffers brain disorder due to cancer treatment, spies say

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.”

“Withdrawn, paranoid, unpredictable”

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. An attitude he uses “perhaps for health reasons, but also for political reasons, because Russian power has felt threatened for years”.

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 overthrow the Russian regime for years. “The threat can also come from within, according to Putin,” supports Carole Grimaud Potter. What else does it isolate.

“He is a withdrawn, paranoid, unpredictable person, but more than madness, I would talk about irrationality,” said Segue├» Jirnov, a former KGB spy, who rejects the image of a good strategist that others would want him to have. . “What drives him is suicide. I heard Putin was a great chess player. It’s not true.” For Carole Grimaud Potter, her strategy nevertheless stems from a certain expansive logic: “His attack may have seemed quite sudden, even to the Russian intelligentsia, but it is consistent with his view of geopolitics, which includes this recovery of influence that would, in restore Russia’s influence in a sense. At least, that’s how he sees it. It must be remembered that Russia has never radiated anything other than an imperialistic way.”

The hypothesis of medical insanity would then, of course, be ruled out. There remains the madness of war. The one who, generation after generation, comes from time to time to beat men with power, and from whom we hoped at last to be set free…