Rumors regarding Russian President Vladimir Putin’s health have been making their rounds amid the invasion of Ukraine. Now, a report confirms that he has cancer and is set to undergo surgery. He will hand off power to a former federal police chief as he goes through the procedure.
A shadowy Telegram channel called “General SVR” published a video on Saturday claiming Putin was told he must have an operation. The channel is believed to be run by a former Russian Foreign Intelligence Service lieutenant with the pseudonym “Viktor Mikhailovich.” The Russian president is expected to be out of action for “a short time” according to the video.
Putin will transfer authority to ex-FSB chief Nikolai Patrushev, who is known as a hardliner. He is also believed to be the person who convinced Putin that Ukraine’s military is run by Nazis.
“Putin is unlikely to agree to hand over power for a longer period of time,” the narrator of the video explained. He noted that Patrushev will probably only be in power for about two to three days.
“I will say that this is the worst option,” the speaker said. “Patrushev is an outright villain. He is no better than Vladimir Putin. Moreover, he is a more cunning, and I would say, more insidious person than Vladimir Putin. If he comes to power, Russians’ problems will only multiply.”
The Russian president’s recent appearances have elicited rumors that he could be suffering from cancer, Parkinson’s disease, or a series of other ailments. The insider said his cancer has been progressing but stopped short of making any definitive claims because he did not wish to give viewers “false hope.”
In a post on Thursday, SVR General said Putin and Patrushev had a two-hour “heart-to-heart” discussion. “We know that Putin signaled to Patrushev that he considers him to be practically his only trusted ally and friend in the government,” the author claimed. “Additionally, the president promised that if his health takes a turn for the worse, actual control of the country will temporarily pass into Patrushev’s hands.”
The Telegram channel has insisted since November of last year that Putin suffers from bowel cancer. Proekt, another Russian-language news outlet, reported that a top thyroid cancer surgeon visited the Russian leader several times. The Russian government has repeatedly denied that Putin has any medical problems.
If the report is true, this development doesn’t exactly come at an opportune moment for the Kremlin. The invasion, which is in its third month, has resulted in heavy losses for Russia. So far, it does not appear that victory is likely for Moscow anytime soon.
Join the conversation as a VIP Member