In a 2005 article in The Atlantic, experts (a cardiac thoracic surgeon, two orthopedic surgeons, a physical therapist, and a neurodevelopmental therapist) looked at Putin's gait. Their theories on the cause of Putin's gait include:
- he had a stroke in utero,
- Erb's palsy from forceps squeezing his right shoulder during birth,
- old judo injury,
- Putin is a badass.
What is more fascinating is why Medvedev walks with the same gait. He was coached to walk like Putin.
This video shows their gaits perfectly. At first, Putin is self-conscious about his gait so he exaggerates the swing of his right arm. He also fidgets with his right arm and hand by playing with his coat, wiping his face, and waving. But after walking a bit (0:52), he returns to his normal gait. And you can see how Medvedev apes Putin's stride.