Vladimir Putin could soon vanish from the public eye while he undergoes cancer surgery and handover "control" to a hardline ex-KGB chief, an insider has claimed.
In extraordinary unconfirmed claims from the popular General SVR Telegram channel, Putin is set to undergo cancer surgery in the "near future".
The General SVR Telegram channel first raised issues of Putin’s health — including abdominal cancer and Parkinson’s — some 18 months ago. It says its source is a well-placed Kremlin figure.
The Russian leader, 69, is said to be planning to transfer "control" of the Ukraine invasion to security council security secretary and former KGB counterintelligence officer Nikolai Patrushev while he goes under the knife.
Angelina Jolie escorted to the safety of an air raid bunker during trip to Ukraine
Patrushev, 70, is seen as a key architect of the Ukrainian war strategy and the man who convinced Putin that Kyiv was awash with neo-Nazis, reports the Mirror.
The General SVR Telegram said: "Putin was recommended to undergo surgery, the date of which is being discussed and agreed. There seems to be no particular urgency, but it cannot be delayed either.”
It suggested Putin has already delayed surgery, which is said to have been scheduled for the second half of April.
It's now unlikely to take place before he presides over the grandiose Red Square 9 May Victory Day commemoration of the defeat of Hitler.
Russia state TV warns Putin more likely to start WW3 than accept defeat in Ukraine
Detailing the claims, the outlet said: “I don't know for exactly how long [he will be incapacitated after the surgery]… I think it'll be for a short time."
It has has previously claimed Putin also suffers from Parkinson's disease and a "schizoaffective disorder". The latter is defined as “a mental health disorder that is marked by a combination of schizophrenia symptoms, such as hallucinations or delusions, and mood disorder symptoms, such as depression or mania”.
The Kremlin has always strongly denied Putin has medical problems and portrays him in robust health, even during several mysterious absences in recent years.
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The claims come amid speculation that Putin will announce all-out war in Ukraine, and order mass mobilisation of military-age men. Such a move would be seen as high-risk since many may refuse to fight.
Just days ago, a stooge of Putin has threatened the UK that it could be wiped out in “202 seconds” with a nuclear missile during an erratic tirade on Russian State TV.
Despite this reluctance, UK defence secretary Ben Wallace has warned that Putin may try start WW3 in just two days time by “mobilising” his citizens.
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