Monday, June 26, 2023

Body Language Analysis №4701: Vladimir Putin has a Cranial Nerve VII Palsy on his right side - Nonverbal and Emotional Intelligence

In the midst of Yevgeny Prigozhin’s recent 24-hour-ish mutiny, Vladimir Putin gave a five and half minute address. During this speech, Putin displayed multiple examples of Anxiety, Self-Righteousness, Contempt, Disgust, and Anger.

All of these same emotions were displayed again today in a follow-up address to Russia (and the rest of the World).

However, a careful observer may have also seen Putin’s has a new and unacknowledged health problem. The Russian President has a Peripheral Cranial Nerve VII Palsy (aka the Facial Nerve) on his right.

While this Facial Nerve palsy is not severe (but mild-to-moderate), it’s definitely present.


Note the persistent incomplete closure of his right upper eyelids during blinking.

Also, the diminished forehead and eyebrow movement on Putin’s right (this finding is mild/mild-to-moderate and persistent).

In addition, Vladimir Putin’s right Nasolabial fold is significantly flattened.

There is, however, perhaps only a trace amount of drooping of the ipsilateral mouth corner. This lesser finding is sometimes seen in mild Cranial Nerve VII palsies.

More significant drooping of the corner of the mouth would be expected in essentially all moderate-to-severe Cranial Nerve VII palsies.

SUMMARY: Vladimir Putin has a mild-to-moderate Cranial Nerve VII Palsy on his right. It appears to be new. This may be isolated and idiopathic (i.e., Bell’s Palsy — always a diagnosis of exclusion) — or it may be secondary to another, underlying, more serious etiology.

Why isn’t Body Language taught much more widely in the medical field? If you’re a physician, nurse, therapist, counselor, etc., contact me at to learn this crucial skill. Group, individual, in-person, and online instruction are available.


This post and others accompanying it, serve as a reference source for the art and science of Body Language/Nonverbal Communication. The views and opinions expressed on this website are those of the author. In an effort to be both practical and academic, many examples from/of varied cultures, politicians, professional athletes, legal cases, public figures, etc., are cited in order to teach and illustrate both the interpretation of others’ body language as well as the projection of one’s own nonverbal skills in many different contexts.