Putin Appears Bloated and Ashen in Meeting

Vladimir Putin was said to be looking ‘ashen and bloated’ in a meeting today as the global condemnation of his invasion of Ukraine continued. 

In an image released by the Kremlin, the Russian president was seen in Moscow sitting with the Governor of Saint Petersburg Alexander Beglov. 

The pair sat opposite each other across a desk in the Kremlin and viewers on social media picked up on the under-pressure Russian leader’s apparently pale appearance. 

One said: ‘Putin does not look well… he’s ashen and bloated.’ 

Another noted that he was sitting very close to Mr Beglov, despite the fact that in recent months he has been pictured keeping his distance from aides and other world leaders due to alleged fears about catching coronavirus.  

The image was released before Russia was slammed for bombing the Babyn Yar holocaust memorial in Kyiv on the site of one of the biggest single massacres of Jews during the Holocaust.

Explosions erupted around the capital’s 1,300ft TV tower this afternoon, built by the ravine where nearly 34,000 Jews were killed by SS troops in two days in 1941 during Adolf Hitler’s campaign against the Soviet Union.

At least two large blasts were seen near the foot of the tower, around three miles from central Kyiv, around 5.30pm local time. The first missile struck the TV tower but the second hit the memorial.

At least five people were killed in the latest onslaught which came just hours after Russia told Ukrainian civilians to evacuate because it was about to begin bombarding ‘strategic’ targets.

It was not immediately clear whether the tower had been the target of the strikes, or whether they had been targeting nearby buildings. The tower remained standing, but several state broadcasts went off air. 

Earlier China’s foreign minister dealt a further blow to the isolated Putin when he said he ‘deeply regrets’ Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. 

Putin is relying on his ties to China’s Xi Jinping to bail him out of the increasingly tough sanctions being put on Moscow by Western nations as the invasion escalates.  

Foreign Minister Wang Yi told Dmytro Kuleba that Beijing ‘deeply regrets that conflict has broken out between Ukraine and Russia, and is paying extreme attention to the harm suffered by civilians’, state broadcaster CCTV reported, adding that Wang called for the two countries to ‘find a way to resolve the issue through negotiations’.

China has found itself walking a diplomatic tightrope after Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine took many in Beijing by surprise. 

It was reported over the weekend that several Chinese public banks are limiting financing to purchase raw materials from Russia for fear of Western sanctions should they be seen to be supporting the Kremlin.

About 30 percent of oil and gas produced in Russia now sold to China.

Putin is relying on his ties to China’s Xi Jinping to bail him out of the increasingly tough sanctions being put on Moscow by Western nations as the invasion escalates.

On February 26, China, India and the UAE abstained from voting on a UN Security Council resolution condemning Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine.

The vote was seen as another sign of the widening of the diplomatic split between the West and the East over Putin’s aggression.

However, China’s decision not to fully veto the motion – as Russia did – will come as a blow to the Russian dictator. 

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