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  • If reports are to be believed, the Russian president travels with around six to seven guards responsible for the job. He has been doing this since the beginning of his leadership.

Russia's President Vladimir Putin reportedly travels abroad with a team of bodyguards who collect his excrement and urine in a suitcase which is carried all the way back to Moscow out of fear that it might reveal too much about his health.

According to an article, first published in French news magazine Paris Match by two senior journalists, this team of about six or seven security personnel with the Russian Federal Protection Service (FPS) is responsible for accompanying the Russian president to the washroom during his travels, and collect the droppings back to Moscow in a special suitcase, to protect any ‘secret’ about his health from getting leaked.

In fact, a video doing rounds online, shared by a BBC journalist, drew more people towards the speculation with apparent evidence.

In the viral video, two persons are seen standing guard at the door, while two more people come out of the washroom, one of them carrying a suitcase. Then another bodyguard comes out, followed by Putin, backed by two more guards.

The act was first noticed during Putin's trip to France in 2017, the report said and later in 2019, when a similar phenomenon was observed during his trip to Saudi Arabia.

According to The Independent, the President has been carrying out the practice since the beginning of his leadership. The idea behind this is to conceal information about Putin's health and his potential illnesses from his rivals.

"Putin fears the possibility of any information about his health getting into the hands of foreign intelligence services. He wants to project the image that he will be ruling Russia indefinitely in order to deter any chaos associated with a change of power," Rebekah Koffler, president of Doctrine & Strategy Consulting and a former DIA intelligence officer, was quoted as saying by Fox News Digital.

Speculations about Putin's health have increased ever since reports emerged that he is suffering from cancer. Rumours of his failing health further grew after American daily tabloid New York Post posted a photo showing Putin sitting with a blanket covering his knees during a victory parade in Moscow on the occasion of Russia's Victory Day.

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