How often do you happen to notice a person’s manner of walking? Not that often, right? I mean, since we all walk in pretty much the same way, one has to have a very weird gait in order to make an impression on you.
Vladimir Putin is one of those cases. The powerful Russian leader has a very distinct and peculiar gait that was debated thoroughly in the last couple of years. So much so, that European researchers published a study at the British Medical Journal analyzing a possible cause for this reduced arm swing.
But before we get into it, here’s a video from The Guardian showing Putin walking so you can understand what we mean: (the article continues after the ad)
The team first analyzed if this was caused by Parkinson’s disease as a reduced arm swing is common for people in the early stages of the neurological disease. However, this hypothesis has major problems as Putin does not seem to have any problem using his right hand for other, everyday activities such as writing or eating.
So, what’s the deal here? Well, while researching on the subject, they also noticed that several other people with military background share the same gait (Vladimir Putin was a KGB Lieutenant Colonel). For example, former ministers of Defence Sergei Ivanov and Anatoly Serdyukov, a military high-rank, Anatoly Sidorov and other KGB officials, all share the same walking manner. Check out the video below from a Russian troops exercise on February 26, 2014 (source: DailyMail)
So the researchers went on to look for KGB training documents and they found a ‘KGB Alpha Team training manual’ (you can read it online here) that teaches trainees to keep their right hand close to the chest while walking, allowing them to quickly draw a gun when faced with a foe. If this is the case, Putins gait is “a behavioural adaptation resulting from military or intelligence training.” They even named it the ‘gunslinger’s gait’.
Even though we can’t be 100 percent sure as Putin has never commented on the issue, this study makes a lot of sense as it explains why other KGB officials and Russians with military background have the same walking manner.
If you like what you read, then you will definitely love this one: This Gift From The Russians To The US Ambassador In Moscow Had A Hidden Surprise
Photo: Wikimedia, www.kremlin.ru, Wikimedia
Photoshop: I’m A Useless Info Junkie
Sources: “Gunslinger’s gait”: a new cause of unilaterally reduced arm swing | Putin’s ‘peculiar walk’ linked to KGB weapons training, report claims | How Putin’s KGB firearms training skills left him with sinister ‘gunslinger’s gait’