Is KGB training to blame for Putin’s weird walk?

by L&D18 Dec 2015
Vladimir Putin’s unusual walking style has led some experts to believe the Russian president is suffering from Parkinson’s disease.

His distinctive walk often demonstrates a reduced right-arm swing, which is considered to be an early sign of the disease.

This is in notable contrast to how people usually walk, which involves naturally swinging both arms at the sides in contrast to leg movements.

However, movement disorder experts have now identified that it could actually be the result of KGB weaponry training, according to a new study published in the British Medical Journal.

The study concluded that a number of other Russian officials showed signs of a similar gait which could be linked to training that required them to keep their gun arm close to their holster so they are ready to draw at very short notice.

“We propose that this new gait pattern, which we term ‘gunslinger’s gait’, may result from a behavioural adaptation, possibly triggered by KGB or other forms of weaponry training where trainees are taught to keep their right hand close to the chest while walking, allowing them to quickly draw a gun when faced with a foe,” the authors said.

Additionally, they discovered a training manual of the former Russian KGB which gave the following instructions on how to move in the field.

“When moving, it is absolutely necessary to keep your weapon against the chest or in the right hand,” the manual said.
“Moving forward should be done with one side, usually the left, turned somewhat in the direction of movement.”

Other prominent officials who showed a similar walking style included the current Prime Minister, Dmitry Medvedev and the two former Ministers of Defence, Anatoly Serdyukov, and Sergei Ivanov.

Even though Medvedev did not actually take part in KGB or military training, the study suggests he might have imitated the mannerisms of his superiors which is a common practice in Russia.

Moreover, the researchers concluded that Putin appeared to be in good physical health, and unlikely to be suffering from Parkinson’s disease.  

After assessing footage of Putin performing a number of different activities, they remarked that his motor skills were “excellent”.