An oligarch with close ties to the Kremlin is said to have secretly said that Vladimir Putin was “very ill with blood cancer”, although his identity was not revealed for his safety
Vladimir Putin is “seriously ill with blood cancer,” an oligarch with close ties to the Russian leader reportedly said.
The oligarch is said to have discussed Putin’s poor health during a meeting with a Western venture capitalist.
It is the latest of many claims about the Russian president’s poor health, which have been exacerbated by images of Putin looking frail and using a blanket during Victory Day celebrations in Moscow this week.
Publicly, the Kremlin has stated that Putin is fit and healthy, but its strict precautions during the pandemic and its use of a long table to meet other political leaders have fueled the rumours.
The Western businessman has not revealed the oligarch’s name to protect him after recording the conversation without his permission, reports New Lines Magazine.
The oligarchs were heard saying that Putin was also “insane” with his invasion of Ukraine.
He criticized the way the Russian leader was destroying the economy in the recording, which is believed to have been taped in March.
“He absolutely ruined – ruined – the economy of Russia, the economy of Ukraine and many other economies [them] absolutely,” said the oligarch.
“The problem is his head. … A madman can turn the world upside down.”
The venture capitalist, who asked not to identify the oligarch, said he shared the recording because of his outrage at the invasion of Ukraine.
New Lines Magazine however, has stated that the oligarch lives outside of Russia and is one of Forbes’ 200 richest Russians.
During the 11-minute conversation, the oligarch spoke of his contempt for what Putin is doing in Ukraine and hopes he will be overthrown.
The claim that Putin’s condition is now well known in the corridors of power in the Kremlin is backed up by a secret memo by the Russian Security Service to regional directors dated March 13, instructing them not to trust rumors of Putin’s “terminal condition.”
Many top military and security officials – as well as Putin’s own cronies – believe the leader is dying or seriously ill.
According to alleged leaks from the Kremlin, the Russian president is set to undergo surgery, possibly for cancer.
And a senior investigative journalist on Russian affairs says the army will flout any nuclear bomb order because it is so badly off.
Christo Grozev also claims an oligarch close to the dictator says it would be better for the world if he dies in the next few months rather than continue his illegal war.
“Recently we and colleagues listened to a recording of an oligarch who is very close to Putin,” he said.
“It was better that he was dead because he destroyed us, destroyed Ukraine… and Russia.”
Grozev said of the mega-rich tycoon surrounding Putin: “That’s how they think. That’s the way it is.
“In other words, are you actively and passively thinking about how to end this?”
He says his officers are unwilling to risk being dragged before a modern-day equivalent of the Nuremberg trials for nuclear Armageddon.
Nor would they obey a Putin to kill opposition forces, claimed Mr. Grozev, who is linked to the open-source research group Bellingcat.