Moscow: Is Russian President Vladimir Putin on the way out, at least temporarily. Well if a report in US’s ‘New York Post’ is to be believed, Vladimir Putin is suffering from cancer. He will require surgery very soon and may well hand over power to the secretary of Russia’s Security Council Nikolai Patrushev. However, there has been no official communication about this from the Russian government.
Putin has reportedly been told by doctors that he must undergo an operation, the ‘New York Post’ reported citing a Telegram channel purportedly run by a former Russian Foreign Intelligence Service lieutenant general as per the report published by the ‘NDTV’ website.
The report said that the surgery and recovery are expected to incapacitate Putin for ‘a short time’.
Putin’s has appeared ‘sick and uncharacteristically fidgety’ during his recent public appearances. The ‘New York Post’ report said that the Russian President has been rumoured to suffer from cancer and a host of other serious maladies, including Parkinson’s disease.
However, a US official said that the media reports could not be verified. Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby was quoted Monday by the New York Post as saying, “I have seen nothing that could help us corroborate that.”
Also read: Vladimir Putin puts behind bars top Russian secret services official for failed intel on Ukraine
A few days ago, Putin allegedly had a two-hour ‘heart-to-heart’ conversation with Nikolai Patrushev. “We know that Putin signalled to Patrushev that he considers him to be practically his only trusted ally and friend in the government. 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 New York Post report said quoting unnamed officials.
“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 owner of the Telegram channel which claimed about Putin’s cancer surgery said
Putin is unlikely to agree to hand over power for a longer period of time, the Telegram channel further claimed. It added that the control of the country will likely be in Patrushev’s hands for no more than two to three days, according to New York Post.
Patrushev is the secretary of Russia’s Security Council. It is an influential body that answers directly to Putin and issues guidance on military and security issues within Russia. Most of the council’s power is vested in Patrushev, who is widely seen as a staunch Putin ally.
Like Putin, Patrushev is a career Russian intelligence agent, first with the KGB, then later with the Russian FSB.
Questions over the Russian President’s health have come up in recent weeks. This gathered momentum after Putin was seen tightly gripping a desk during his meeting with Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu last month.
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