Vladimir Putin and the Unilaterally Reduced Arm Swing

Synopsis:  Studying YouTube videos, movement disorder experts noticed how Russian president Vladimir Putin had a severely reduced right arm swing in his gait. This habit of the stiff right arm was also noted in other high ranking Russian officials, such as current prime minister, Dmitry Medvedev. This intrigued the movement disorder experts, lead by Bastiaan R Bloem, professor at Radboud University in the Netherlands. Asymmetrical reduced arm swing has long been associated with Parkinson’s disease, though the Russian leaders’ gaits were inconsistent with the type linked to Parkinson’s disease.

Conclusion: The researchers propose that the asymmetrical gait pattern of Russian leaders may be the result of their KGB training. In the KGB, 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 author’s are calling it the ‘Gunslinger’s gait’. (And if you’re skeptical about the ‘reduced arm swing’, take a look at some of the videos here).