‘Scar’ on Putin’s Neck Sparks Rumors

Putin, 70, was photographed with a strange mark on his neck while attending Orthodox Easter services at the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow on Sunday, the Ukrainian news outlet Dialog.ua reported.

Many people have put forward theories in recent months about the Russian president’s health, including claims he has cancer, Parkinson’s disease, or both. The Kremlin has repeatedly insisted that he is in good health.

However, the rumor mill went into overdrive after Putin was filmed and photographed at the Orthodox Easter service at the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in the Russian capital on Sunday.

Ukrainian news outlet Dialog.ua reported how the photo taken by the Tass news agency showed “a strange mark” on his neck, “resembling an extensive scar.” Dialog said that Ukrainian journalist Denis Kazansky drew attention to the photo, next to which he wrote “what’s up with Volodya?

“I think I figured out where Z came from,” Kazansky added, suggesting that the scar was in the shape of the letter that has become the symbol for Putin’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian politician Oleksiy Goncharenko added to the speculation in a video post on his You Tube channel on Monday in which he said that Putin’s visit to an Easter service in Moscow meant that “talk about his health flared up with renewed vigor.”

“He didn’t look very good in church yesterday. He moved with difficulty. And in the photographs, a scar is clearly visible on his neck,” Goncharenko said, speaking in Russian. “Most likely, he has undergone some kind of medical procedure.

“I don’t know what they did there. Maybe they did some kind of artificial ventilation of the lungs or something else,” he added.

Last year, the investigative outlet Proekt said that based on leaked travel documents, Putin had thyroid cancer or another disease.

A former Soviet spy has claimed that the Russian leader has Parkinson’s disease, while New Lines Magazine claimed to have obtained a recording of an oligarch saying he was “very ill with blood cancer.” None of the claims have been confirmed and Newsweek has emailed the Kremlin for comment.

Rumors about Putin’s health also followed uncertainty surrounding the Kremlin’s announcement that the Russian president had visited the occupied Ukrainian territories of Kherson and Luhansk. While the Kremlin didn’t say exactly when the trip took place the Russian leader wished the troops a happy Easter, which Orthodox Christians marked on Sunday.

However, independent investigative media outlet Agentstvo said analysis of the footage suggested that Putin’s visit may have taken place before Sunday. “Easter is coming up now, isn’t it?” Putin was heard saying in an earlier version of the video published by the outlet.

It said the clip was quickly removed and re-uploaded by the Kremlin, with with the words “coming up” taken out. When asked about the discrepancy, Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Putin’s visit took place on Monday and that his comment was “just a mistake.”

“Easter is celebrated for 40 days,” said Peskov, as he criticized how some media had “jumped on this phrase and immediately started coming up with hypotheses about things that didn’t happen.”

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