Vladimir Putin is planning to step down next year as speculation swirls in Russia that the longtime president may have Parkinson’s disease, a report said Thursday.
Moscow political scientist Valery Solovei told The Sun that the Russian strongman’s 37-year-old girlfriend, Alina Kabaeva, and his two daughters are pushing him to leave 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 suggested 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 departure comes as Russian lawmakers are considering legislation proposed by the president that would grant ex-presidents lifetime immunity from criminal prosecution.