That up there (it works even though it looks like it doesn’t) is a couple clips of Vladimir Putin casually strolling about. Notice his arms. His left swings jauntily, almost exaggeratedly, across the front and back of his body.
His right barely moves. Why? Is it several tons heavier than the other? Does he have a Bob Dole-esque palsy? Could a vitamin deficiency as a result of a borscht-based diet have left the joints in his right shoulder and elbow crystallized and non-functioning?
Or is it because he’s got a shoulder holster under that suit jacket and always wants to be ready to pull a piece on either Barack Obama or Bashar al-Assad or whoever gets the fuck in his way when he’s trying to do what’s best for Mother Russia?
Why do you think he’s such a good negotiator? Because he doesn’t show up to negotiations with a gun?
A team of neurologists who — for some reason — have become fascinated with Putin’s arms, analyzed his walk and determined that it could only have come from one thing. KGB training, where he learned to always keeps his right arm on his gun, ready to whip it out at a moment’s notice (and presumedly pistol-whip you).
Specialists in analysing postures and movements that are potential signs of health disorders, they say they were struck by Putin’s “distinct” way of walking.
Asymmetrical movement like this is often a telltale sign of Parkinson’s disease.
But the doctors found no other symptoms of this disease in Putin, such as tremor, rigidity or poor coordination.
Quite the opposite, in fact: they found he had “excellent motor skills,” as a judo black belt, weight lifter and swimmer, and his handwriting is fast and signature tremble-free.
So what could it be?
Their investigations turned up an intriguing alternative explanation in the form of a training manual used by the former Soviet intelligence service, the KGB.
The manual, which they had translated into Dutch, instructs operatives to keep their weapon in their right hand close to their chest and move forward with one side — usually the left — “turned somewhat in the direction of movement.”
Wondering whether prolonged and intensive training in this method could explain Putin’s gait, as he was a KGB operative in the Cold War, the team carried out a trawl on YouTube for videos of other Russian officials.
They found that almost all people with KGB training moved that way. It was so prevalent they even came up with a name for it.
“This motivated us to introduce the term ‘gunslinger’s gait’ to label this new gait phenotype.”
In Putin’s case, the reduced swing could “in part be overlearned,” [Bastiaan Bloem, a professor of movement disorder neurology at Radboud University Medical Centre in the Netherlands] said. “It’s like saying, ‘Look, folks, I’ve had KGB training, I’m a real man’.”
Basically, his left arm is just another, somewhat literal, way of saying he’s got a big swinging dick.
The study doesn’t delve into whether Putin typically carries a gun with him at all times, but would you ever doubt that man?