The daughter of Boris Becker has said ‘it is not fair’ her 12-year-old half-brother will have to go without his father after the tennis legend was sentenced to two-and-a-half years behind bars for bankruptcy fraud yesterday
Anna Ermakova said she was concerned about the welfare of her younger brother Amadeus, who is set to spend a year and three months without his father, and said she had written to the court before her father was jailed yesterday.
The 22-year-old, who lives in London, said she hoped she could help her father ‘get through’ his time in prison by visiting him, and thanked his fans for their support.
He appeared to chew the insides of his mouth, shifting uncomfortably, adding to a swirl of commentary that the pressure of Russian setbacks over the war in Ukraine was getting to him.
A dry mouth can be a symptom of Parkinson’s Disease – a condition which the Kremlin was forced to deny Putin was suffering from last year.
The Russian president has seen rumours circling around his physical and mental fitness after footage emerged of him gripping the table in front of him during a meeting with one of his senior staff.
Putin, 69, was seen gripping the table and tapping his foot frantically, prompting the rumours of his mental deterioration.
The mass was led by Russian Orthodox leader Patriarch Kirill, who has supported Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
Putin gives himself the sign of the cross, but seemingly does so with deliberate slowness.
Observers said Putin’s actions are consistent with someone suffering from Parkinson’s disease, which causes tremors, slow movement and stiffness.
Reuters reported Putin did not join in with the congregational response, declining to respond ‘he has truly risen’, along with the rest of the congregation.
The Eastern Orthodox churches observe the ancient Julian calendar, and so Russia is celebrating Orthodox Easter on April 24, later than the Roman Catholic calendar date for Easter.
Putin was recently shown on Russian TV giving orders for troops in Ukraine to blockade the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol where more than 1,000 Ukrainians are held up inside, resisting the Kremlin’s control over the city.
‘An able-bodied president would not need to keep himself propped up with a hand held out for leverage and would not be concerned about keeping both feet planted on the ground,’ professor Erik Bucy, a body language expert from Texas Tech University, told the Sun.
The Russian leader’s poor posture and his apparently bloated face and neck sparked speculation about the Russian leader’s health, which has reportedly been in decline since the invasion of Ukraine.
Putin’s legs also appeared quite thin, suggesting he may be suffering from weight or muscle loss, said professor Bucy.
‘I am persuaded by a lot of medical advice that he is an ill man and the most persuasive diagnosis is that he has early Parkinsonia,’ said former government defence and Nato adviser Professor Gwythian Prins, appearing on Good Morning Britain.
‘I happen to live with a clinical neurological psychologist, my wife who has spent 30 years dealing with people who have had degenerative brain diseases.’
He said people living with Parkinson’s often show ‘all or nothing thinking’ where they become disinhibited, stopping them from taking in information rationally.
Putin’s last public appearance was with his minister of defence, Sergei Shoigu.
Shoigu, who is in charge of the bloody invasion of Ukraine, has been noticeably absent from public view amid reports the defence minister and Putin’s relationship has become strained after Russia’s military operation in Ukraine has led to more than 20,000 Russian troops being killed.
Anders Aslund, a Swedish economist and former adviser to Ukraine and Russia, said the video showed both Putin and Shoigu ‘depressed and seemingly in bad health’.
Shoigu does not appear to have fared any better than Putin in the eight weeks since Russia invaded Ukraine, with the defence minister slurring his words and reading from his notes following an apparent heart attack.
Last week, a Russian-Israeli businessman claimed Shoigu suffered a heart attack, which he suspects was caused by foul play.
Leonid Nevzlin claimed Shoigu had been in intensive car after suffering ‘a massive heart attack’ which ‘could not have occurred due to natural causes’, suggesting Putin’s longtime ally may have been the subject of an assassination attempt.
The scale of Russian troop losses in Ukraine has tipped 21,000 as Putin’s war rumbles into its third month today.
The latest statistics, published by the Ukrainian Land Forces this morning, suggest 21,800 Russian fighters have been killed amid bitter resistance from Ukraine’s armed forces and territorial defence units – though this figure could not be verified.
Meanwhile, the land forces claim to have dealt massive damage to Russia’s military equipment and machinery.
A total of 873 tanks are said to have been destroyed, along with 2238 armoured vehicles, 179 planes, 154 helicopters and 408 artillery systems.
Putin’s forces rolled across the border on February 24 from the north, east and south, and quickly made a beeline for Kyiv.
But they were forced to withdraw from the outskirts of the capital in late March and refocus their efforts on a targeted offensive in the eastern Donbas region after Ukraine successfully repelled their advances, inflicting heavy losses.
Russia’s vast troop losses have been put down to poor tactical decisions by Russian military leaders and a considerable underestimation of the capabilities of Ukraine’s armed forces.
At the start of the war, Russia’s military dwarfed that of Ukraine and led many to believe that the invasion would be swift and effective.
On February 24, Russia’s land army consisted of 280,000 full-time active soldiers compared with Ukraine’s 125,600.
But the amount of Russian soldiers needed to seize the whole country and control the entire population would be close to 1 million, according to Michael Clarke, a visiting professor in King’s College London’s department of war studies – suggesting the Kremlin woefully underestimated the amount of force needed to force its neighbours into submission.