Chaos in the Kremlin and trouble in the army: Former intelligence chief Steele believes Vladimir Putin’s poor health is the reason.
Due to his failing health, Valdimir Putin is leaving the Kremlin in “growing chaos”. That’s according to Christopher Steele, who was head of Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) Russian bureau between 2006 and 2009.
According to Steele, Putin must take regular breaks to receive medical treatment. The Briton is of the opinion that “there is no longer any clear political leadership” in Moscow.
All current developments in the Ukraine war at a glance >
Rumors that Putin is suffering from health problems have been around for a long time, but have intensified since Russia invaded Ukraine. In an interview with British radio LBC, the former MI6 spy also said that the Russian head of state was “constantly accompanied by a team of doctors”. This is also demonstrated by surveys of independent Russian journalists. “Today” reported:
Is it cancer or Parkinson’s?
It is unclear what the 69-year-old could have contracted. He could be suffering from cancer or Parkinson’s disease, according to various sources. The suspicions were accompanied by footage that appeared to show the president shaking uncontrollably and holding a table for support. A week ago, the head of Ukraine’s military intelligence service, Major General Kyrylo Budanov, also claimed that Putin was “very ill”. Budanov also indicated that plans for a coup were already underway.
Vladimir Putin with Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu. Putin’s strange attitude sparked speculation about his health Russian Presidential Press Service/Kremlin/Disclosure via REUTERS
According to Christopher Steele, “there is no clear political leadership in Moscow that emanates from Putin.” In military terms, the command structures were not functioning as they should have been. Among other things, because many government consultations in the Kremlin have to be interrupted several times so that Putin can go for his medical treatments. “It’s certainly having very serious implications for government work in Russia right now,” Steele said.
Rumors of Putin’s Enemies?
The Briton believes Putin “probably” has Parkinson’s – although he admits he doesn’t know “the exact details of his illness”. Steele’s source is “pretty confident,” he added. But despite his illness, the Russia expert does not believe that Vladimir Putin will withdraw from Ukraine “because he has placed himself in a political corner”.
The answer to the question of whether Putin is really sick or not is a closely guarded secret. Joshua Tucker, an expert at the NYU Jordan Center for the Advanced Study of Russia, also knows this. However, the American sees the spread of rumors about Putin’s health as a pure strategy – from within his own ranks.
“It wouldn’t be surprising if an autocratic leader’s enemies spread rumors at home that the leader was terminally ill to weaken his power,” he told Newsweek.
Olga Lautman of the Center for European Policy Analysis in Brussels believes that the rumors about Putin’s poor health are unfounded. Unlike Tucker, however, Lautmann believes it could be a case of confusion on the part of the Kremlin.
Read more: Chancellor Nehammer reveals details about Putin’s health
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