Medical treatment

Putin quits meetings for treatment, says Christopher Steele

Russian President Vladimir Putin is leaving meetings to receive medical treatment amid ongoing speculation that he is ill, Christopher Steele, a former UK intelligence official, said recently.

“Security council meetings that are supposed to last an entire hour are actually split into several sections,” Steele, who served in MI6’s intelligence office, said in an interview with LBC Radio. “[Putin] goes out and receives some kind of medical treatment between these sections.”

Steele also said that Putin is “constantly accompanied on site by a team of doctors”.

The remarks by Steele, who is known for his work on the Steele dossier, which alleged former President Donald Trump and Russia had ties during the 2016 presidential election, come amid a wave of claims that Putin is suffering from some type of illness while fighting continues in Ukraine.

Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence officer, claimed this week that Russian President Vladimir Putin was leaving Security Council meetings to receive medical treatment. Above, Putin during a Security Council meeting via video link at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence outside Moscow on May 20, 2022.
MIKHAIL METZEL/SPOUTNIK/AFP/Getty

Earlier this month Ukraine’s military intelligence chief Major General Kyrylo Budanov said Putin was ill in an interview with Sky News.

“Mr. Putin is in a very bad psychological and physical condition and he is very ill,” Budanov said.

A few days before his interview with British radio LBC, Steele made similar remarks about Putin’s health.

“Certainly, from what we’re hearing from sources in Russia and elsewhere, Putin is, in fact, quite seriously ill,” Steele told Sky News on Monday. “It’s not clear what exactly this disease is, whether it’s incurable or terminal, or whatever. But certainly, I think that’s part of the equation.”

During his last interview with LBC Radio, Steele did not explain how he came to the conclusion that Putin was ill, but said that “it certainly has a very serious impact on the governance of Russia at this time”. .

“There is growing disarray in the Kremlin and chaos, in fact, that there is no clear political leadership coming from Putin, who is increasingly sick.”

Since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, there has been growing speculation about Putin’s health.

In April, Visegrád 24 News posted a video on Twitter questioning Putin’s health and speculating that he might have Parkinson’s disease.

“This is probably the clearest video of something wrong with Putin’s health. Look at his leg and hand tremors! Is a doctor ready to weigh in? Parkinson’s?” Visegrád 24 News wrote on Twitter.

Another video of Putin gripping a table during a meeting with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu has prompted a range of social media users to offer their own speculations about Putin’s health.

The Kremlin has made no public comment on Putin’s health since the start of the war in Ukraine.

Newsweek contacted the Russian Foreign Ministry for comments.