Putin suspected of roid rage as questions raised over puffy face and health

Vladimir Putin could be unwell, causing his face to bloat and affecting his decision-making, sources have claimed.

Reports from intelligence agencies have suggested that the Russian president, 69, who has shocked the world with his decision to launch a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, could be seriously ill.

Putin’s behaviour is said to be “increasingly erratic”, says the Five Eyes intelligence alliance, which includes the UK, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States.

Changes to his face and images from the Kremlin of him sitting extraordinarily far away from anyone else have led to speculation about his health.

Speculation about his health has been further stirred by his reported decision to place leading Federal Security Service officials Sergey Beseda and Anatoly Bolyukh under house arrest.

Speaking toMail Online, a security source said: “It is only human sources that can offer you the sort of rich picture that we have of Putin’s psyche.

“There has been an identifiable change in his decision-making over the past five years or so. Those around him see a marked change in the cogency and clarity of what he says and how he perceives the world around him.”

Intelligence handed to senior British political figures claims that Putin could be suffering from a brain condition like Parkinson's, dementia or even cancer. In turn, treatment for the supposed condition could be affecting his mind and decision-making processes.

A further theory thought to be considered by British intelligence to be credible is that the despot is suffering “roid rage” – but what is it?

What is roid rage?

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Roid rage is a condition brought on by the use of steroids over a long period of time.

According toMerriam-Webster, roid rage is defined as “an outburst of anger, aggression, or violence attributed to the use of anabolic steroids”.

The definition is backed by Collins, which defines it as “angry and aggressive behaviour caused by the use of anabolic steroids”.

The term is thought to have first surfaced in the 1980s, speculated by some to have been to blame for the 2007 murder-suicide of pro wrestler Chris Benoit, who killed his wife and son.

Speaking to WebMD, Gary Wadler MD said at the time of the deaths that roid rage is “a form of loss of impulse control”.

He added: “So say somebody says something to you that you don't like. You may put your fist through a wall. The impulse is there; it's overreaction. Forget the 'roid, for the moment. It's a rage … and that rage is precipitated by the brain being exposed to anabolic steroids.”

The physical distance visitors have had to keep from Putin has raised questions about whether he is shielding himself from potential infection, perhaps due to a vulnerable immune system from medication.

When he met with French president Emmanuel Macron in February, the two sat at opposite ends of an enormous table, and visitors reportedly have had to quarantine for two weeks before seeing him.

His bloated face and neck continue to raise questions about what is really going on with his health, but one British intelligence source told the Mail they were confident about the reliability of their information on Putin.

“Our intelligence visibility on Russia is just extraordinary," they added.

“The difference in the quality of our sources around Putin compared with Xi and China is staggering.”

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