Russian President Vladimir Putin walks in an odd way: reduced right-sided arm swing. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, military commander Anatoly Sidorov and two former defense misters walk in the same way, too. Scientists deciphered what was behind the funny walk. They identified it as “gunslinger’s gait.”
Neurology professor Bastiaan Bloem of the Bastiaan University Medical Center in the Netherlands noticed that Mr Putin walks with his right arm stiff compared to his left arms which he swings freely. Together with his colleagues they tried to find the most plausible explanation until they chanced upon a training manual of the former Russian spies, the KGB.
“According to this manual, KGB operatives were instructed to keep their weapon in their right hand close to their chest and to move forward with one side, usually the left, presumably allowing objects to draw the gun as quickly as possible when confronted with a foe,” the scientists wrote in the British Medical Journal’s online publication. “We propose that this new gait pattern, which we term gunslinger’s gait may result from a behavioral adaptation, possibly triggered by KGB or other forms of weapons training where 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 further explained.
As young as 18 years old, Mr. Putin had his eyes fixed on being a KGB agent in the future. According to his biography, it was around this age when he went to a public reception office of the KGB Directorate and asked how he could become an intelligence officer. He found out that he should either serve in the army or finish college, more preferably with a degree in law. “And from that moment, I began preparing myself to enter the law department at Leningrad State University,” he shared. He finished law in 1975 and in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s Mr. Putin studied at KGB School which is number one in Moscow.
For 16 years he served as a KGB agent. He was a Lieutenant Colonel before he retired to enter politics in his home town, Saint Petersburg, in 1991.