Putin advice being ignored as Russians panic buy essentials
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Putin’s declining health has led to him bathing in blood extracted from severed deer antlers, an investigation claims. As the Russian despot approaches his 70th birthday, a brigade of doctors have been attending him in his Black Sea residence in Sochi – including Yevgeny Selivanov, an oncology surgeon specialising in thyroid cancer. This is the claim of Proyekt, a Russian investigative journalism group.
They allege that Mr Selivanov visited the tyrant for a total of 166 days over four years.
Putin is even reported to have turned to alternative medicine – including indulging in a practice of bathing in blood extracted from deer antlers.
Proyekt’s investigation examined publicly accessible government procurement documents to uncover the details.
Through this, they were able to establish which doctors from the Moscow presidential clinic were accommodated in four different hotels used by Kremlin staff near Putin’s Bocharov Ruchey residence between 2016 and 2020.
These coincided with when the president was either officially visiting the city or during times when he, controversially, disappeared from public view.
The Kremlin denies all reports of Putin’s ill health and keeps the despot’s personal life a closely guarded secret – although they have yet to respond to Proyekt’s report.
Proyekt found that a team of doctors always arrived in the city just before the president, but occasionally their number “dramatically increased”.
The documents suggest that by 2019, an average of nine doctors would accompany Putin on his visits to Sochi.
Three doctors were regularly on the team: two ear, nose and throat specialists and Mr Selivanov.
The claim of the “antlers blood bath” came from an “acquaintance of the head of state”, say Proyekt.
The ritual involves cutting the deer antlers off to acquire blood, which is thought to give strength and halt the ageing process if it is then bathed in or ingested.
Putin reportedly undertook the ritual on a visit to the Altai region, even though he had been told it had no actual effect.
The health of the Russian tyrant appears to be key to his image, with photoshoots depicting him fishing, riding topless and carrying a rifle during trips with his defence minister.
It also helps to distinguish him from the notorious poor health of his alcoholic predecessor Boris Yeltsin.
On a visit to the United States in 1995 secret service agents had found an intoxicated Yeltsin in his underwear outside the White House, trying to hail a cab so he could go and buy a pizza.
However, Proyekt’s report is far from the first time that ill health has been hinted at by Putin.
In 2010 he appeared to have bruised cheekbones during a visit to Ukraine, provoking media speculation about plastic surgery – but the Kremlin dismissed it as tiredness and blamed it on the lighting.
Two years later, sources from the Kremlin told reporters that Putin had a back problem that might require surgery, and had to wear a corset.
Naturally, this was denied too by the Kremlin, who said that an earlier limp was caused by an unspecified “sports injury”.
Proyekt’s findings shine new light on this particular case – they found that in 2016 and 2019, there was a strong suggestion that Putin had undergone an operation, most likely on his back.
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