Over recent months Vladimir Putin’s health has been under much speculation with reports he is battling severe cancer.
The General SVR Telegram channel has made recent claims about Vladimir Putin’s health. The channel claims to offer ‘insider’ information on the Kremlin and Moscow is reportedly looking to shut it down.
The channel alleged Putin’s top officials are bracing for his health to dip amid claims he is suffering from cancer and Parkinson’s disease.
It went on to claim body doubles have already “been used quite often” to hide Putin’s ill health.
The fresh claims come after new footage emerged of the Russian President seemingly unable to use his right arm.
The video clip captured the moment Putin was given a tour of a military museum as part of a weekend of festivities marking Russia’s Navy Day.
Putin was seen raising his left arm in an attempt to swat mosquitos away while his right arm hangs limply by his side.
What did the telegram channel say about his health?
The channel alleged: “With a high degree of probability, we can say that soon the president will not be able to personally hold meetings and participate in large events”.
The channel went on to say that senior Russian officials will explain Putin’s absence from meetings by saying he will be isolated due to the return of the Covid pandemic.
The Kremlin has previously denied what it called “false reports” that Putin is unwell.
At a recent briefing spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: “Everything is fine with his health”.
It is apparently feared that admitting defeat in Ukraine would be the “beginning of the end” for his presidency and there are rumours there is “despondency” among his senior officials as varying options are put on the table.
These include the possibility of using tactical nuclear weapons, or opening a second front in a third country like Kazakhstan.
The of the occupied territories of Kherson, Zaporizhzhia and Kharkiv regions to Ukraine is also said to have been raised.
The General SVR Telegram channel said military chiefs blame Putin for tactics which have led them to such heavy losses.
What did the CIA director say about Putin’s health?
The director of the CIA has said that there is no intelligence that the Putin is in unstable or bad health.
William Burns said there was no evidence to suggest this, joking that he appeared “too healthy”.
This is despite an oligarch, with close links to Vladimir Putin, having been previously reportedly recorded saying that the Russian President is “very ill with blood cancer”.
Mr Burns, who served as ambassador to Moscow, said he had been observing and dealing with the Russian leader for more than two decades.
He said at the Aspen Security Forum in Colorado that “there are lots of rumours about President Putin’s health and as far as we can tell he’s entirely too healthy.”
Responding to laughter, he added that this was not a formal intelligence judgement.
What has the Russian officer said about Putin’s health?
Despite the comments from the director of the CIA, a Russian officer told the Sunday Mirror: “We are told he is suffering from headaches and when he appears on TV he needs pieces of paper with everything written in huge letters to read what he’s going to say.
“They are so big each page can only hold a couple of sentences.
“His eyesight is seriously worsening.”
The spy added that Putin’s limbs are “now also shaking uncontrollably”.
What did the oligarch reportedly say about Vladimir Putin?
The oligarch is believed to have discussed Putin’s health with a Western venture capitalist.
The Western businessman recorded the conversation without his permission, New Lines Magazine reported. The oligarch’s name has not been revealed in order to protect him.
During the recording, which is believed to have taken place in March, he said: “He absolutely ruined Russia ’s economy, Ukraine ’s economy and many other economies - ruined them absolutely.
“The problem is with his head. One crazy guy can turn the world upside down.”
The venture capitalist passed on the recording of the 11-minute conversation due to his outrage over the Ukraine war.
The oligarch is said to be one of Forbes’ 200 richest Russians but lives outside the country.
He said that Putin was “crazy” with his Ukraine war.
What was said about Putin’s health after Victory Day appearance?
There has been further speculation over the Russian leader’s health after his attendance at the Victory Day parade in Moscow earlier in May.
Putin was seen coughing at the celebration and keeping his legs warm by covering them with a heavy blanket, despite other senior Kremlin officials next to him not feeling the need for one.
The former BBC journalist John Sweeney was one of many to point out the blanket.
He wrote on Twitter: “Vladimir Putin - a blanket on his knees, his cheeks full, a hamster stuffed with steroids - cuts a weak and enfeebled figure as Russian Army rolls past the Kremlin. No declaration of big war; no call-up; no General Gerasimov. Listen: you can hear the knives being sharpened.”
One user on Twitter commented on the blanket by tweeting: “President Vladimir Putin throws aside his Russian Wool blanket to stride manfully to the unknown.”
While another joked that “Putin stole a blanket from a veteran” after noticing few others had one.
Putin was also filmed during a meeting with defence minister Sergei Shoigu where the pair discussed Mariupol on 21 April.
He seemed to look “bloated” and was spotted gripping the corner of his desk.
Putin’s demeanor during the meeting where he was seen holding on to the corner of the table attracted attention.
He was slouched in a chair and appeared to be lacking in energy.
The Russian president also looked pale.
There have been a spate of rumours over Putin’s health with previous pictures of him sitting at a bizarrely long table when holding meetings with senior world leaders and military commanders.
What else has previously been said about Putin’s health?
Previously, retired Royal Navy Admiral Chris Parry said he believed President Putin could be battling cancer, and suggested it could be this alleged medical condition that prompted the decision to press ahead with war.
His comments came on 4 March during a debate in Portsmouth, and were reported by our sister title The News.
Speaking to youngsters in an hour-long seminar at the Portsmouth Grammar School, the top naval officer said that he believed president Putin could be battling cancer, which has caused him to invade Ukraine.
“He has been using these very long tables to interview people,” Falklands veteran Rear Admiral Parry said.
He added: “I think his immune system might be suppressed at the moment.
“So he is a man in a hurry.”
People who are taking immune-suppressing medication, such as cancer patients or those with chronic conditions, are known to be at a higher risk of contracting a severe case of Covid.
There has been speculation about whether this is behind Putin’s decision to sit metres away from foreign leaders and even his own colleagues.
In February the Russian leader was photographed speaking to French president Emmanuel Macron across a 13ft table.
His extreme measures have sparked rumours that the leader is terrified of catching Covid because he’s vulnerable to a severe infection.
Does Putin have cancer?
Several newspapers have suggested that Putin may be suffering from cancer too.
The Daily Star quotes an unnamed US intelligence source who claimed his ‘puffy face’, seen in recent photographs, is a side-effect of chemotherapy drugs or steroids.
The source said: “In the past we have seen him smile, but in 2022 there are few pictures of him looking happy.
"His look suggests he is in pain and our people suggest his angry look is most likely as a result of him being in agony.
“Our people are confident he is ill – he is concerned about Covid as he keeps his staff at a distance.”
In 2020 Professor Solovei spoke of Putin’s health traumas: “One is of psycho-neurological nature, the other is a cancer problem. The second diagnosis is a lot, lot more dangerous than the first named diagnosis as Parkinson’s does not threaten physical state, but just limits public appearances.”
He added: “But there is a fatal diagnosis.”
According to The Project, an Russian opposition website which has been banned by The Kremlin, Putin has been visited by a cancer specialist at least 35 times in four years. The webistr also claimed that the Russian leader had been treated in April by a oncology surgeon who specialised in thyroid cancer.
The Kremlin has not commented on the speculation that Putin is ill.
Is Putin’s face more bloated?
Reports have surfaced in recent months that Putin has appeared to be looking noticeably more bloated around the face and neck - suggesting he might be undergoing treatment with steroids for a health condition.
In pictures released by the Kremlin he was described as looking “ashen and bloated.”
The 69-year-old President looked pale and unfit as his forces started to invade neighbouring Ukraine.
Side effects of steroids include increased risk of infection - which it is claimed could explain his paranoia about catching Covid. They can also spark "mood and behavioural changes".
According to Macmillan Cancer Support, a high dose of steroids can cause confusion or even changes in thinking.
Fiona Hill, the British former senior White House expert on Russia, told Politico: "Putin’s not looking so great, he’s been rather puffy-faced.
"We know that he has complained about having back issues.”
She added: "Even if it’s not something worse than that, it could be that he’s taking high doses of steroids, or there may be something else.
"There seems to be an urgency for this that may be also driven by personal factors."