Vladimir Putin
Times Putin’s Health Has Been Questioned Since The Ukraine-Russia War Began Photo by Mikhail Metzel/Sputnik/AFP via Getty Images

A body language expert said that amid ill health rumors, Russian President Vladimir Putin "slumped" in his chair in his latest public appearance.

When he sat down for a Q&A session at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum on Thursday, his tie and shirt were pointing in opposite directions, reported Mirror. As he spoke to young entrepreneurs and specialists during the event, the 69-year-old reclined in his chair and smirked.

Amid the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, the "smug" Russian leader could have been trying to look like a "celebrating victor," said body language expert Judi James. She said that for a man who is "usually immaculately dressed, his pose has left his tie askew and his shirt seems to be gaping between the buttons." She noted that at one point, Putin appears aware of the way "his belly is in one direction and his tie in another, pulling his tie back over the front of his shirt even though he seems perfectly comfortable with this sign of disruption." The expert said that this style of "smugness combined with humor and a laid-back pose seems to suggest a man who finds irony or sarcasm in the current global state of tension and threat."

In the bizarre public appearance, he even compared himself to Peter the Great, the 18th century Russian autocrat who seized Swedish territory. James said that "slumping back in his armchair in a diagonal splay, Putin displays his bizarrely comedic side here."

This comes after it was reported that his annual telephone marathon, Direct Line, had been postponed, according to The Moscow Times. The program sees ordinary citizens speak directly to the Russian leader about their daily problems, and it is the first time that it has been delayed since 2004. Kremlin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in a statement that the event would take place at a later date. Putin could hold the annual TV Q&A after the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum between June 15 and June 18.

He has been reported to be suffering from a number of health problems, and this latest abrupt delay will only fuel these rumors. There have been suggestions that he could suffering from Parkinson's, cancer, or even early stage dementia, reported The Sun.

Vladimir Putin
Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers an address to the participants of the Bolshaya Peremena All-Russian contest for school students via a video link at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence, outside Moscow, on June 1, 2022. Photo by Mikhail Metzel/Sputnik/AFP via Getty Images

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