Critically ill Putin wheezes in meeting after being spotted with purple hands

Russia’s despotic President Vladimir Putin has raised fresh health fears after he wheezed and coughed through a dramatic meeting.

Rumours have been swirling for months that Putin is seriously ill, and he did nothing to ease concerns during a testy meeting with mums of soldiers who have been killed in his war with Ukraine.

The dictator tucked into fresh berries and cake with the 'grieving relatives' but seemed to be struggling and uncomfortable.

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Words didn’t come easily, clearing his throat often, as he spoke with people who – were it not for him – would still have children, although the true identities of the women are unknown.

The news comes after Putin’s hand appeared off-colour during a meeting with the leader of Cuba, president Miguel Diaz-Canel.

The crowd was carefully selected, invited to his official residence to be told how much he felt the losses of the troops he had never met but sent to fight.

He said: "I would like you to know that, that I personally, and the whole leadership of the country – we share your pain.

"We understand that nothing can replace the loss of a son – especially for a mother…we share this pain.”

The pathetically transparent act came after the dictator came under fire from upset parents who claimed he had used their kids as cannon fodder and had been avoiding them ever since.

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Predictably, the whole affair was carefully managed to look good in the eyes of the Russian media.

Given this, it isn’t confirmed whether or not the people he spoke with had actually had their children killed or injured in the war.

Some of the women are understood to have been identified as Putin loyalists by Russian journalists.

On Tuesday (November 22), the allegedly ailing Russian leader was seen gripping onto a chair for dear life and seemed unsteady and his hands seemed a strange colour of purple.

Now 70, he is coming under a lot of strain as the war in Ukraine continues to go terribly for him.

His time at the top of Russian politics is likely dependent on the war going well, and so setbacks in the east and south of Ukraine are heaping pressure onto his shoulders.

Rumours include that he is suffering with cancer or Parkinson's disease.

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