‘Shaky’ Putin’s body language dissected – and it shows all is not well

Russian President Vladimir Putin was giving away a few shaky signs during his recent meeting with Chinese premier Xi Jinping, a body language expert has revealed.

The two leaders met in Beijing for the Belt and Road Initiative on October 17, where Xi said he welcomed his “dear friend” Putin to the multilateral summit but behind the smiles, it is possible the Kremlin man may have been struggling. The meeting, which hosted representatives from 130 countries, also struggled for air against the backdrop of the Israel-Hamas war.

Putin was perhaps the biggest name on the guest list, his trip made more notable with it his first to a major power since he and his government entered into a period of isolation following its invasion of Ukraine. Concerns have been raised that China's invitation to Putin was a sign of the two countries' close relationship without concern about the frustration and anxiety it might cause in the West.

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But on a human level, the pair’s meeting had multiple subplots, one of which was the now-clockwork check-in on Putin’s health. A body language expert was recruited by The Sun Online to take a look at what his actions said about his well-being, who pointed to subtle signs perhaps not even the two leaders knew they were sending.

Footage of him arriving at a dinner at the forum, designed to help China bolster trade through Eurasia and increase its international and geopolitical influence, was analysed by Judi James. She noted that the actions of Putin looked “a little jerky,” drawing attention to his hand movements and twitches of the mouth.

She noted these twitches, “could be prompted by anxiety or health issues but they don't look pronounced." She reckoned that Putin looked uncomfortable at the event and tried to use friendly gestures in a bid to look “bonded” with the Chinese leader.

This was not the same in reverse, however, with Putin reportedly being somewhat snubbed by Xi, whose body language towards the warmonger was "non-committal".

"Stepping from the car [Putin] has to climb a steep flight of stairs before walking into Xi’s elevated presence. As he climbs the stairs Putin performs a rather exaggerated dressing ritual, tugging both shirt cuffs out of his jacket sleeves in a very emphatic movement and even seeming to twist or wind the right one. The movements suggest a desire to self-calm."

She noted a difference between the way the two men approached their handshake, with Putin seemingly eager to define their relationship, while Xi was more confident. "Putin also moves in close and faces Xi for the actual shake but Xi faces forward in a small act of rejection.”

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