Putin had 'advanced treatment for cancer in April' US report claims

Putin had ‘treatment for advanced cancer in April, survived an assassination attempt in March and is increasingly paranoid about his grip on power’, US intelligence report claims

  • Three sources claim US intelligence assessments concluded that Vladimir Putin of Russia had treatment for cancer in April
  • ‘Putin’s grip is strong but no longer absolute,’ one told Newsweek 
  • It comes amid feverish speculation that the Russian leader is in ill health
  • Every public appearance is scrutinized for signs of weakness 

President Vladimir Putin of Russia had treatment for advanced cancer in April and survived an assassination attempt a month earlier, according to a U.S. intelligence report.

Putin’s health has been the source of endless rumor and speculation, as analyst pore over footage of his every public appearance for evidence of physical decline.

The Kremlin has repeatedly denied ill-health and U.S. officials have also warned against wishful thinking.

But now three senior intelligence figures have told Newsweek that Putin’s health is the subject of intense scrutiny by the Biden administration and that a classified report confirms reports of cancer treatment.

‘Putin’s grip is strong but no longer absolute,’ one of the senior intelligence officers said. 

‘The jockeying inside the Kremlin has never been more intense during his rule, everyone sensing that the end is near.’ 

The sources – drawn from Director of National Intelligence, the U.S. Air Force and the Defense Intelligence Agency – agree that Putin’s health is more grave than previously believed. 

They said that his physical exhaustion was matched by Russia’s own exhaustion, as the conflict enters its fourth month. 

Analysts have pored over images like this one, trying to gauge the state of Vladimir Putin’s health. His puffy face has raised speculation that he is sick

Three intelligence source said the state of Putin’s health matched his country’s own exhaustion from the war in Ukraine. Smoke is seen rising here in the city of Severodonetsk during heavy fighting between Ukrainian and Russian troops in the eastern Donbas region

A man walks next to heavily damaged buildings and destroyed cars following Russian attacks in Bakhmut, Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine

And the intelligence assessments also confirm an assassination attempt was made in March, the officials say. 

However, they cautioned that some sources of intelligence had evaporated since the war began and that Putin’s isolation had made it harder to assess his condition. 

‘What we know is that there is an iceberg out there, albeit one covered in fog,’ said the DNI leader.

Meanwhile the DIA official said Putin’s reduction in meetings with outsiders had also choked off information. 

‘Putin has had few meetings with foreign leaders,’ the source said. 

‘Putin’s isolation has thus increased levels of speculation.’

That speculation has brought repeated denials from the Kremlin.

On Sunday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov denied that Putin was ill or dying.

‘President Vladimir Putin appears in public every day,’ he told French television.

‘You can watch him on screens, read and listen to his performances. I don’t think that sane people can see signs of some kind of illness or poor health.’

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the fact that viewers can watch Putin on screens and read his speeches disproved any notion that the Russian leader was unwell

He added that reports of Putin’s poor health should be left ‘on the conscience of those who spread such rumors.’

His statements come amid reports that the Kremlin was reusing old footage of Putin for several meetings. 

An FSB officer was quoted in media outlets on May 29 warning that Putin has just three years left to live as speculation abounded over his health.

And former British spy Christopher Steele, who wrote a dossier on Donald Trump and alleged Russian interference in the 2016 elections, has also suggested that Putin is in poor health.

‘Certainly, from what we’re hearing from sources in Russia and elsewhere, is that Putin is, in fact, quite seriously ill,’ he told Sky News recently.

But he admitted that it was unclear what was ailing him. 

‘It’s not clear exactly what this illness is — whether it’s incurable or terminal, or whatever. But certainly, I think it’s part of the equation,’ he added.

A former Soviet spy has claimed that Putin has Parkinson’s disease while the Proekt investigative website said that Russian leader is thought to have thyroid cancer.  

Heavy fighting is under way in the eastern Donbas region, but battles are also taking place to the west of Kherson as Ukraine counter-attacks

One source of intrigue is Putin’s April 21 meeting with his defense minister.

Putin gripped the table with his right hand as soon as he sat down, and held it throughout the meeting. 

Some observers took it as evidence of Parkinson’s disease while others suggested it was simply his old KGB weapons training and he was staying ready to reach for a gun. 

 ‘Someone once seen as omnipotent was now mostly seen as struggling with the future, his own in particular,’ said the DNI leader.

Top-ranking Russian officials are said to be plotting a government without Putin after Kremlin sources claimed the Russian president has turned almost everybody against him amid the invasion of Ukraine.

A government source told Russian-Latvian outlet Meduza last week that ‘there are almost no people who are satisfied with Putin’ among Kremlin officials and Russian elites.

‘Businessmen and many members of the government are unhappy that the president started the war without thinking about the scale of the sanctions – it is impossible to live with such sanctions,’ the source said – a sentiment which was later corroborated by two other government insiders.

Meanwhile Israeli journalist Mark Kotlyarsky said he was told by medical informants in the Kremlin that Putin has pancreatic cancer – and may have just three months left.

Mr Kotlyarsky wrote: ‘It is possible that in the event of a fatal outcome, the country will be headed by a special State Council.’

‘It is assumed that this body – as a transitional one – will govern Russia indefinitely in order to try to at least minimise the damage caused by the confrontation with Ukraine.

‘The war will certainly be stopped, the troops will be withdrawn.’

And earlier this week an FSB officer described the Russian president’s condition as a ‘severe form of rapidly progressing cancer’.

Fugitive Boris Karpichkov said Putin has ‘no more than two to three years left’ and is losing his sight.

They added Putin is refusing to wear glasses over fears it would admit a form of weakness – and is lashing out at subordinates with ‘uncontrolled fury’.

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