Vladimir Putin has reportedly been given warned he has just three to years to live as Russian intelligence sources become increasingly worried about their ailing leader.
An FSB officer described the Russian president’s condition as a ‘severe form of rapidly progressing cancer’, as speculation ramped up that Putin was suffering with some form of serious illness amid the invasion of Ukraine.
The spy explained the wartime leader has ‘no more than two to three years’ left and he is also losing his sight, reports the Mirror.
News of the Russian leader’s terminal illness emerged as part of a secret message from the Russian agent to fugitive and former FSB agent Boris Karpichkov.
The message warned Putin is refusing to wear glasses over fears it would admit a form of weakness, and he is now lashing out at his subordinates with ‘uncontrolled fury’.
The developments come as news of his deteriorating health continues to leak out of Russia from a Telegram channel which claims to have sources inside the Kremlin.
Putin reportedly underwent ‘successful’ cancer surgery this month and is recovering following advice from medics that treatment was ‘essential’, according to Telegram channel General SVR.
The news emerged just hours before Putin appeared on state TV meeting with ally Alexander Lukashenko in Sochi, when he was caught on camera awkwardly twisting his feet while the pair sat down for talks.
It is the second time Putin has been filmed making the odd movement, which was caught on camera during a meeting with Tajikistan’s president a week ago, and comes off the back of rumours that he is suffering Parkinson’s.
Rumours have been circling for years that Putin (pictured gripping table during a meeting last month) has health problems, and they have intensified since he launched invasion of Ukraine
Other spooks have also hinted at the strongman’s poor health condition, warning he was unable to maintain concentration for long periods of time without taking breaks ‘for treatment’
Emomali Rahmon appeared to notice the movement during his meeting with Putin and glanced at the leader’s feet, though did not raise it in conversation.
Critics have suggested the twisting motion could be an attempt to cover up the kind of involuntary twitches caused by Parkinson’s – after Putin was seen shaking his arm and led before another meeting with Lukashenko on February 18.
Since then, he has been seen to grip the arms of chairs and corners of tables in what some believe to be an effort to disguise any shaking.
Other spooks have also hinted at the strongman’s poor health condition, warning he was unable to maintain concentration for long periods of time without taking breaks ‘for treatment’.
Christopher Steele, a former MI6 Russia desk officer explained Putin was constantly monitored and accompanied by a team of doctors, as rumours of a new Kremlin succession plan continue to swirl.
Whispers about Putin’s health began at least two years ago when he was said to be suffering both Parkinson’s and cancer, but have received renewed attention in the wake of his invasion of Ukraine.
The Kremlin has not commented on the latest allegations of Putin’s ill-health, but regularly denies he is suffering any kind of difficulties.
General SVR wrote last week: ‘On the night of Monday May 16 to Tuesday May 17, Russian President Vladimir Putin underwent a surgical operation.
‘The fact that Putin should be operated on as soon as possible was insisted upon by his attending physicians.
‘According to the doctors involved in the treatment of the President, the operation was successful.
‘We have already talked about the fact that Putin was personally absent from the information space from May 17 to May 19 and was not available even to his inner circle, with the exception of Nikolai Patrushev, Secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation.
Top-ranking Russian officials are said to be plotting a government without Vladimir Putin (pictured) after Kremlin sources claimed the Russian President has turned almost everybody against him amid the invasion of Ukraine
‘There are almost no people who are satisfied with Putin’ among Kremlin officials and Russian elites, according to government sources cited by Meduza (Putin is pictured speaking with members of the Security Council last week)
Oliver Stone, an American director who spent two years interviewing Putin for a documentary series, said last week that the Russian leader had cancer but beat it
‘From May 17 to May 19, ‘canned’, pre-recorded meetings and messages were posted in the information space, and Putin personally held two telephone conversations during this time.’
Amid news of his increasing isolation the Russian President has also seized control of the military operation in Ukraine, personally handing orders out to generals and struggling to delegate responsibilities.
Meanwhile, the head of the main intelligence directorate of Ukraine’s ministry of defence declared last week Putin is cutting himself off from close contact with his subordinates to avoid any assassination attempts.
‘Looking at some of his manic syndromes, he is afraid to seriously prepare a successor, realising that in preparation, this successor may want to take the chair a little earlier than Putin himself wants,’ Major General Kyrylo Budanov told Ukrainskaya Pravda.
‘Therefore, he keeps everyone at a certain distance. And he believes that he will rule forever. But it will not be so.’
Sir Dearlove told the One Decision podcast: ‘I think (Putin) will be gone by 2023 – but probably into the sanatorium, from which he will not emerge as the leader of Russia’
It comes as a former MI6 chief predicted Putin will be ‘gone by 2023’ due to health problems and will not re-emerge as the leader of Russia.
With persistent rumours of serious ill health for the Russian strongman, one method of ‘moving things on’ without need for a violent coup would be to place him in a long term hospital for the incurably unwell, suggested Richard Dearlove.
The various Russian systems of governance over the centuries have always been autocratic and have never been designed with transitions of power in mind.
But now, with Russia facing military humiliation and economic catastrophe thoughts are turning inwardly in the Kremlin as to how to replace the man in power.
These are the thoughts of Dearlove, who was speaking on the One Decision podcast which he co-hosts.
‘I think he’ll be gone by 2023 – but probably into the sanatorium, from which he will not emerge as the leader of Russia.’
‘I’m not saying he won’t emerge from the sanatorium, but he won’t emerge as the leader of Russia any longer.
‘That’s a way to sort of move things on without a coup,’ he concluded.