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Study links Putin’s ‘gunslinger’ gait to weapons training

The authors think this could explain the absence of the right arm swing in Putin, and posited that they could find a similar gait in other Russian officials “who might have received similar instruction during weapons training by the KGB or other military or intelligence agencies”.

Specialists in analysing postures and movements that are potential signs of health disorders, they say they were struck by Putin’s “distinct” way of walking.

When study co-author Bastiaan Bloem first started watching Putin perambulating in YouTube videos, he thought he suffered Parkinson’s disease, since a reduced arm swing is a symptom-but he ruled that out, since Parkinson’s is progressive and Putin never got worse.

Theories have ranged from Erb’s palsy, intrauterine stroke and a sign of Parkinson’s disease.

In fact, they discovered he had “excellent motor skills”-comparing him to a judo black belt”.

“Searching for possible explanations, we encountered a training manual of the former Russian KGB”, the author’s said in the study.

Scientists have revealed how to come by the distinctive gait taught by the KGB and put into practice by Russia’s leaders, including Vladimir Putin.

In the article, the team of movement disorder experts examined the walks of Putin, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, defence minister Anatoly Serdyukov, chief of the presidential administration Sergei Ivanov and commander of the Western Military District Anatoly Sidorov. It quotes an observer from 2008: “Putin and Medvedev walked out on to Red Square in leather jackets and jeans, Medvedev trying to ape Putin’s macho gait”.

The outlier in this group is Medvedev, a lawyer by training who has no clear ties to the KGB and did not serve in the military, though he underwent brief reservist training during his university years.

Putin, 63, cultivates an image of masculine strength and physical prowess, helped by stunts like horse-riding half-naked and driving a Formula One auto.

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