Putin’s Bizarre Memory Lapse Sparks ‘Dementia’ Rumors


Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin in Moscow on July 19, 2023. A clip of him confusing the age of the children of a businessman and serviceman has prompted social media comment about his state of mind.ALEXANDER KAZAKOV/GETTY IMAGES

Vladimir Putin got confused about the age of the child of a deputy mayor during a discussion at the Kremlin, sparking social media comment about the state of the Russian president’s health.

Unproven rumors have persisted about Putin’s condition since the start of his full-scale invasion of Ukraine. These have included that the Russian president has cancer, Parkinson’s disease, and even dementia. The Kremlin has insisted Putin is in good health.

However, adding to the speculation was footage from Wednesday’s meeting of the group “Russia—the Land of Opportunities,” a non-profit set up in 2018 to help citizens develop business ideas.

The clip tweeted by Uliana Yapparova, a blogger who tweets about Russia and Ukraine, shows Putin speaking with Ivan Shtokman, who had given Putin a potted history of his journey from working in a bakery to building an IT business. The transcript and video of the full meeting lasting more than 90 minutes was also available on the Kremlin website.

Wearing a military uniform, Shtokman described how success in a management competition had propelled him to deputy mayor of the city of Nizhny Novgorod where his brief included IT, tourism, and developing businesses.

But Shtokman said that he felt a patriotic pull while sitting on a bench at his dacha (summer house) with his son. “The future of the country is now being decided,” he told Putin, explaining his decision to join the army.

Putin seemed impressed with the story, describing it as “simply amazing” before recasting it as a parable of what Russia was going through.”

In the end, you came to the most important thing in this search … dedication to this country,” said Putin, “in the end, this is a struggle for the future of our children and your children.”

Putin then asked the age of his children, with Shtokman replying, “the youngest is nine” and the elder, 23.

But Putin got the age wrong, saying, “your little one is three years old” before praising Shtokman’s decision to go the front line.

Yapparova’s tweet of the exchange showing Putin’s confusion spurred speculation in a thread about the president’s state of mind. One user wrote that Putin’s “looking at the ceiling” while “slowly muttering about the search for a place in the country” was “abnormal.” Another wrote, “He can’t hear people at all.”

One user concluded that it was a display of “dementia” while in a separate tweet, Ivan Semyonov wrote next to the video: “Alzheimer’s.”

The exchange follows another lively online discussion about Putin this week when the Russian president seemed to give a flippant response to news from the Irkutsk governor Igor Kobzev, about the death of soldiers in Ukraine.

After Kobzev talked about about the troops from his region who had died in Ukraine, Putin responded “pass on my regards to them.”

This was compared to the “Good health to the fallen,” meme from Ukrainians in response to Russians killed in action.

Newsweek has contacted the Kremlin for comment.


  1. Maybe the runt is indeed senile … or his feeble mind is constantly revolving around his mounting problems, especially the fact that he can never win this war. This can make anyone absentminded. 👌

  2. Could well be.
    For sure the nazi rodent suffers from a condition that is common amongst serial murderers, mafia gang bosses, totalitarian dictators and would-be dictators: criminal psychopathy.

    • A normal person would go insane knowing what terrible horrors, deaths, injuries, destruction he or she is responsible for.

  3. RuSSia will be defeated by Ukraine like the british army by the United States. The will to be free is the strongest force on earth. Always.

  4. Well, realizing that the reputation of russian “might” and “strength” has actually been supported by weakness, this can be very stressful. In the analogy of “the russian bear,” it seems the bear’s bones are brittle, as if optimistic scavenging in garbage has replaced muscle with fat, the intestines eaten by parasitic worms, and when it tries to steal the honey from a wild beehive, the ferocity of a few bee-stings is enough to send the bear shambling off.

    All those regional military commanders selling off the equipment for their units? Doubtless, they knew putin wouldn’t stop them even though they parasitically weakened the russian military. What little wealth there is in russia seems to have mysteriously vanished into the coffers of fat-ass generals and people who “fell out of windows.” Of course, this also killed off the strength of the economic backbone when various russian businesses found themselves unable to deliver goods or services because much was already stolen, and so many foreign countries cut russia off.

    Definitely very stressful, and this will affect memory or thinking in general. It’s a good thing then, that putin is bald as a baby’s ass, because if he still had hair, I’d expect to be completely gray, or constantly pulled out in frustration because everyone hates him. Perhaps putin may actually “improve” his memory by beating his head against a wall. I would sincerely like to test that, if I could. N

    • I think the runt has sleepless nights due to all his insurmountable troubles, and this is a small bit of justice.

Enter comments here: