Russian President Vladimir Putin is reportedly intending to resign next year as speculation surges in Russia that the former KGB agent turned politician could be suffering from Parkinson’s disease.
Political scientist Valery Solovei told The Sun that the Russian autocratic leader’s 37-year-old girlfriend, Alina Kabaeva, and his two daughters are pushing him to leave the office.
“There is a family, it has a great influence on him. He intends to make public his handover plans in January,” Solovei told the news outlet.
Solovei also hinted that Putin may be suffering from Parkinson’s as the president has been seen recently exhibiting symptoms of the disease. Putin recently appeared to be in agony while appearing to constantly shift his legs, according to footage reviewed by an observer, The Sun reported.
Reviewed footage also appeared to show his fingers twitching as he held a cup that possibly contained medicine, the report said.
Speculation of Putin’s possible exit comes as Russian lawmakers are considering legislation proposed by the president that would grant ex-presidents lifetime immunization from criminal prosecution.
The professor also predicted that Putin would soon appoint a new prime minister who would be groomed to become his successor. The president’s staff have repeatedly played down rumors that he is paving the way for a political exit.