Russian President Vladimir Putin is not at his healthiest if you didn’t know. For months, rumors about his physical condition, as well as his mind, have been swirling, creating all sorts of questions and controversies. Of course, neither the Kremlin nor Putin himself have given much, if any, weight to those concerns.
After all, doing so would be a major no-no and is a bit of an unwritten rule when it comes to national leadership.
However, thanks to a recent and rather anonymous report from the UK Daily Mail, the rumors are true. Putin is not in good health, and without some upcoming procedures, he may not be able to rule much longer.
As Daily Mail notes, the report actually comes from a former high-ranking Kremlin military official who, while remaining anonymous, spoke on the Telegram channel General SVR. SVR are the initials used to describe Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service. According to the man, “Putin has discussed that he will be undergoing medical procedures” in the near future to overcome a number of issues.
So what are those issues? As this man says, “We know very well that he has cancer, and Parkinson’s disease, plus a schizoaffective disorder, as we have said many times. The oncology is progressing.” He noted that it was possible to “contain” such information before. But now, as the disease and its symptoms progress, that time has passed.
You might have seen a video that went viral last week showing evidence of this. It offers a very bloated Russian president who is slouching, grabbing the table in front of him rather unnatural, tapping his foot uncontrollably, as well as has shaky hands – all signs that something is definitely not right.
You might have also heard the numerous rumors that Putin is pretty much followed around everywhere by a number of medical professionals, including oncologists.
And now, we have reports that Putin will soon have to undergo some “procedures.”
The question is 1) who will rule the country during the time of those procedures, and 2) how long could that last.
As to the first, the UK Sun, using the same report found by the Daily Mail, asserts that Nikolai Patrushev, the current Russian secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation, will take charge. Patrushev once served as the head of the Russian Federal Security Service, which became the KGB after the fall of the Soviet Union, from 1999 to 2008.
According to the Daily Mail, it is also noted that Patrushev is likely the “key architect” of the war strategy currently being used against Ukraine. It was likely he who also pushed the idea that Kyiv was home to neo-Nazis and so convinced Putin to attack.
As the anonymous informant said in his report, the procedures, if all goes well, should only keep Putin down for a few days, 2-3, in his opinion. And during that time, “control of the country passes only to Patrushev.”
But in his opinion, this is “the worst option.” Especially if all does not go as planned. As he noted, with Putin’s already rather severe health issues, the probability of something going wrong or him not responding well to treatment is rather high. And that means Patrushev could be in control for much longer than just a few days.
As the anonymous former official says, “you should not be very hopeful.”
So when could these procedures take place?
Well, if you know much about Russia, you’ll know that Victory Day, when the Nazis were defeated in Russia during WWII, is May 9. It is expected that Putin will want to preside over the day’s celebrations, specifically the annual military parade in the Red Square.
It is also expected that a rather major announcement about the war in Ukraine will be made that day, and it would be rather odd if it did not come from Putin himself. This has led many to believe that all upcoming procedures have likely been scheduled for after this holiday. However, as of yet, no actual dates have been mentioned.
To be sure, we could very well see some very interesting, if not terrifying, things come out of Russia in the next few weeks. Only time will tell.