- The Washington Times - Friday, November 6, 2020

Russian President Vladimir Putin is reportedly considering stepping down in January amid speculation that the long-term Russian leader could be exhibiting symptoms of Parkinson’s.

British tabloid The Sun first reported the allegations overnight and cited “informed analysts” who claim Mr. Putin’s rumored female partner, and ex-gymnast, Alina Kabaeva has pressed Mr. Putin to resign.

“Observers who studied recent footage of Putin noted his legs appeared to be in constant motion and he looked to be in pain while clutching the armrest of a chair,” the tabloid said.

It also claimed that Mr. Putin’s hands have been seen “twitching” while holding a pen.

“There is a family, it has a great influence on him,” Russian political scientist Professor Valery Solovei told The Sun. “He intends to make public his handover plans in January.”

The Kremlin has staunchly denied the allegations and slammed the report as “complete nonsense.”

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told Russian news outlet TASS, “Everything is fine with the president.”

Mr. Putin, 68, has held power in Moscow since 1999. Earlier this year, Russia adopted a set of constitutional amendments that would effectively reset his term limits and allow him to remain in office until 2036.

But a new bill that Russia’s parliament is now considering has thrown speculation into Mr. Putin’s long-term plans. The bill, which still needs to pass several markers to become law, would protect former presidents from prosecution.

• Lauren Toms can be reached at lmeier@washingtontimes.com.

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