Vladimir Putin's right arm rarely moves, while his left arm swings freely. While many believed it to be a sign of Parkinson’s disease or a stroke, a group of scientists may have found the real reason.
A research, published in the British medical journal The BMJ, authored by a team of European neurologists from Portugal, Italy and the Netherlands, suggests the Russian president has a "gunslinger’s gait,” which is the result of KGB or some other weaponry training.
And it’s not just Putin. The study found five other top Russian officials, including Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, two former defense ministers, Anatoly Serdyukov and Sergei Ivanov, and Anatoly Sidorov, a senior military commander, all walk in the same manner.
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"According to this manual, KGB operatives were instructed to keep their weapon in their right hand close to their chest and to move forward with one side, usually the left, presumably allowing subjects to draw the gun as quickly as possible when confronted with a foe," researchers stated.
With no known links to either KGB or military, Medvedev, however, is an exception. He could be, according to the scientists, trying to "imitate the boss."
"Substantial evidence suggests that Medvedev is being coached to sound, look and, importantly, walk like the president," they said.
"It is an unusual study, but there is a very serious message to it" about neurological observation, Bastiaan Bloem, the lead author of the study who is a professor of movement disorder neurology at Radboud University Medical Centre in Nijmegen, the Netherlands, told AFP. “His abnormal gait has been noted before. What we are putting forward, but very cautiously, is a new hypothesis."