The 'mystery' illness that could force Putin to step down

Yahoo News Staff
·2-min read

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s 20-year reign might be coming to an end with sources in Moscow claiming he will step down next year.

A source in Moscow told The Sun Mr Putin, 68, has Parkinson’s disease - a claim the Kremlin has since denied.

But Mr Putin’s signing of a recent bill has also fuelled speculation that he is on his way out.

Russian ex-presidents' immunity from criminal prosecution could be extended to any offences committed in their lifetimes, not merely while in office, under a bill submitted to parliament on Thursday.

Russia's President Vladimir Putin attends via video link the inauguration ceremonies for new medical centres built by Russia's Defence Ministry in Dagestan, Voronezh Region, and Penza Region.
Russia's President Vladimir Putin will reportedly step down due to Parkinson's disease. Source: Getty Images (file pic)

The bill, published on a government website, is one of several being introduced following constitutional reforms that, among other things, allow Mr Putin to run again when his term ends in 2024.

The draft legislation is being carefully parsed for clues as to what Mr Putin, who has dominated Russian politics for more than two decades, plans to do in 2024.

Former presidents already enjoy lifetime immunity for crimes committed in office under legislation adopted after Russia's first post-Soviet president, Boris Yeltsin, handed the reins of power to Putin at the turn of the century.

Moscow political scientist Valery Solovei told The Sun his family also wants him to step down from politics.

He added Mr Putin plans to announce handover plans in January.

Recent footage of Mr Putin reportedly shows him struggling to grip the armrest of a chair and having trouble controlling his legs, the paper reported.

Health rumours ‘complete nonsense’

The Kremlin has slammed rumours of Putin’s resignation due to a health issue as "complete nonsense."

The Kremlin's spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, rejected such claims and attested that Putin is in excellent health.

"This is complete nonsense. Everything is fine with the president," Peskov said in comments carried by state news agency TASS.

with Reuters

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