Putin's cancer to Xi Jinping's cerebral aneurysm, diseases world leaders are battling

There have always been speculation about world leaders' health. A slight change in their appearance or walk can lead to rumours.

 |  3-minute read |   11-05-2022
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Speculation about the health of world leaders is not new. Give that they are always in the public's eye, a slight change in appearance, walk or speech could lead to rumours about their fitness.

A media report said that Chinese President Xi Jinping is suffering from cerebral aneurysm and had to be hospitalised at the end of 2021.

A few days ago, there were reports that Russian President Vladimir Putin is set to undergo an operation for cancer.

Reports said that he is battling both abdominal cancer and Parkinson’s disease.

Here we take a look at world leaders who apparently have serious medical conditions:


Russian President Vladimir Putin, in his 22-year rule, has become one of the biggest leaders in the world and is seen as some sort of invincible figure among Russians. But, recent reports have said that Putin will be going for a surgery later this month as he is suffering from abdominal cancer. 

vladimir_051122020011.jpgVladimir Putin. (Photo: AP)

The claim was reported on Russian media outlet General SVR, which first raised issues of Putin’s health around 18 months ago. According to a report in The Sun, Putin also has Parkinson's disease. 

He sparked further rumours of his ill-health after the Kremlin leader was pictured coughing and huddled under a blanket at Russia’s Victory Day parade. Putin had a thick green cover draped over his legs as he sat among Second World War veterans and dignitaries to watch a military procession in Moscow’s Red Square, reported the Independent.

The speculation of him suffering from Parkinson’s gained momentum when the 69-year-old was seen in a video tightly gripping the table while talking to his Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu.


Media reports have claimed that the Chinese President Xi Jinping is suffering from cerebral aneurysm. Cerebral aneurysm or brain aneurysm is a bulge or ballooning in a blood vessel in the brain. Xi apparently is being treated with traditional Chinese medicines rather than going for surgery.

There has been speculation about Xi's health as he had avoided meeting the foreign leaders since the outbreak of Covid till the Beijing Winter Olympics in February this year.

jinpinneww_051122020432.jpgXi Jinping. (Photo: AP)

During Xi's visit to Italy in 2019, his walk was observed to be unusual, with a noticeable limp. During the same tour, he was seen taking support while trying to sit down at an event in France, reported ANI.

Xi, 68, was recently elected as delegate to the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), which means he is all set to get endorsement for a rare third term as President, reported PTI.


There were speculation about North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un's health after he disappeared from the public eye for nearly a month and then came back looking visibly slimmer. According to a report in the Associated Press, South Korea’s spy agency said that even though Kim lost over 20 kilograms of weight, he remains healthy.

The massive weight loss has prompted rumours that North Korea was using a Kim Jong Un body double, which South Korea said is untrue.

unneww_051122020638.jpgKim Jong Un (Photo: PTI)

In 2020, there were rumours that the North Korean leader may be dead or in grave condition after a surgery. The speculation had started after Kim did not appear at a celebration on April 15, the birthday of country's founder Kim Il Sung, reported the Business Insider. He finally made an appearance in May first week to put to rest all the rumours.

The 38-year-old's health has been a cause of concern for the West because Kim hasn't publicly anointed a successor and experts think his death could cause chaos in the nuclear-armed country.


While the two-term American President Ronald Reagan was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 1994, former US President John F Kennedy suffered from various health problems like Addison’s disease or autoimmune polyendocrine syndrome type 2, reported the Guardian.

Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Winston Churchill, was reportedly clinically depressed and had suffered two strokes while in office.

Cuban leader Fidel Castro suffered from diverticulitis, a digestive disease, and had undergone surgery for intestinal bleeding in 2006.


Vivek Mishra Vivek Mishra @vvk29

Vivek likes to follow politics, international affairs, sports and technology. He is currently an Assistant Editor at DailyO.

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