Bloated Putin fuels heath fears after he stutters and gasps through speech threatening to nuke the West

VLADIMIR Putin appeared confused and out of breath as he wheezed his way through his latest speech, threatening the West with nuclear weapons.

The Russian president seemed to struggle to catch his breath and paused several times during the address to politicians, stumbling over his words and looking exhausted.

At one stage, he appears breathless and stuttering, while on two other occasions, he seems to take quick gasps for air.

However, if his delivery to politicians in the Russian city of St Petersburg was low-energy, his words were anything but.

In his fiery address, Putin warned he would use nukes against the West if it interferes in the conflict in Ukraine.

Speaking to lawmakers he said: "If someone intends to interfere in what is going on from the outside they must know that constitutes an unacceptable strategic threat to Russia.


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"They must know that our response to counterstrikes will be lightning fast. Fast."

He also said that Russia's military wouldn't hesitate to use its most modern weaponry in an escalation of the war of words between Moscow and the West.

"We have all the weapons we need for this," he said. "No one else can brag about these weapons, and we won’t brag about them.

"But we will use them."

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This isn't the first time questions have been raised about the health of the 69-year-old Russian leader.

On Tuesday, a video seemed to show Putin limp and grimace as he walked during talks in Moscow with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

He also brought back his ludicrously long 13-foot table for the two-person talks, having previously used it as a Covid-19 precaution.

Another resurfaced clip purports to show Putin's hand shaking uncontrollably as he met his Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko.

A frail-looking Putin appeared unsteady during a recent Easter service in Moscow, as he was seen biting his lips and fidgeting in the cathedral.

The Kremlin was later accused of faking the Russian president's appearance by using digitally altered images from last year's Easter event.

We have all the weapons we need for this

Last week, during talks with his defence minister Sergey Shoigu, the elderly tyrant was filmed gripping the table and slouching, sparking further rumours he may be suffering from Parkinson's Disease.

Kremlin officials have always denied there is anything wrong with their leader, who turns 70 in October.

Professor Erik Bucy, a body language expert from Texas Tech University, told The Sun Online upon watching the video: " It’s an astonishingly weakened Putin compared to the man we observed even a few years ago.

"An able-bodied president would not need to keep himself propped up with a hand held out for leverage and would not be concerned about keeping both feet planted on the ground."

It comes after Putin's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov warned that a nuclear world war is now a "real" danger.

Putin's crony claimed in a chilling message that British and Nato weapons are already "legitimate" targets in Ukraine, and accused the West of fighting a proxy war against Moscow through its support for Kyiv.

At the same time, the Russian leader's paranoia is said to be growing out of control, with an expert claiming he is hearing voices inside his head.

Putin has reportedly been avoiding close contact with others and meets only those in his inner circle after they have been forced to quarantine in hotels for two weeks.

It is said that some guests have even been made to walk through an elaborate disinfectant-spraying tunnel.

Putin has been isolating himself since the start of the pandemic which might have caused "irreversible psychological" damage and even led to his decision to invade Ukraine, psychotherapist Noel McDermott has claimed.

The experts explained that spending a long period of time in isolation could have a great impact on a person's mental health, cause their brain to become "broken" and even make them take drastic decisions.

Putin has also looked to retaliate against the UK following the punishing sanctions imposed on Russian oligarchs by a number of Western countries in the wake of the invasion of Ukraine.

Earlier on Wednesday, Russia slapped more than 200 current and former British MPs with sanctions, while also cutting natural gas off to two Nato countries, Bulgaria and Poland.

Europe has accused Russia of using the threat of cutting off natural gas supplies as "blackmail".

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Meanwhile, tensions remain high in Moldova, which borders Ukraine, where a number of attacks have taken place in recent days.

The country's government warns the attacks in the Russian-backed breakaway region of Transnistria are an attempt to escalate tensions and justify an invasion.

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