Russian President Vladimir Putin appears “weak” but may be “at his deadliest”, a body language expert has warned.
After over two months of fighting in Ukraine, Putin attended a victory day parade in Moscow’s Red Square yesterday (May 9). The annual event marks the anniversary of the Soviet Union’s defeat of Nazi Germany in World War 2, but was used by the leader as an opportunity to back his assault on Ukraine.
There has been constant speculation over the despot’s health, and after Putin was spotted with a suspected wool blanket over his knees, one expert even suggested that he looked like a "little old man".
And, speaking to Kay Burley on Sky News, body language expert Judi James agreed that something was not quite right, but warned that Putin should not be underestimated.
“Yes, he does have a puffy left side to his face. His walk has very recently been unsteady. He has also got a trait of swinging his left arm but keeping his right arm down by his side,” she observed.
“His facial expressions, he almost seems to be not able to control the right side of his face. There was a lot of sort of pulling, when he was standing and sitting and watching, it was as though several emotions were going through the right side.”
At the ceremony, Putin made no reference to calling a halt to the violent conflict, despite Russian troops allegedly sustaining heavy losses and losing morale as they fail to succeed in their objectives.
And, Judi suggested that the leader’s body language indicated he is unlikely to relent soon.
She said: “I know that as an alpha he looks very beleaguered and unwell. I’m slightly wary of the fact that he reminds me a little bit of you know that firework that you light on fireworks night and it doesn’t go off, that damp squib? And somebody has to go out there and nudge it with their toe and it suddenly explodes…
“There’s something about his body language that implies, ‘don’t nudge this yet with your toe’. He might be looking ill, but when he went to make his speech, we changed his state considerably.
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Judi picked out the moment when Putin took to the stage, noting that the 69 year-old switched from looking “slightly unsteady” to being firm in his delivery.
“That’s when it worried me because when an alpha is beleaguered, when it’s showing weakness, that’s when it can be at its deadliest,” she continued.
“That’s where we could see a rebooting from this slightly pathetic body language to somebody that is fizzing with anger. There were a lot of anger signals particularly when he was talking about what he believes the West has done to Russia.”
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