Putin must interrupt meetings for permanent medical treatment, a former spy says.
Christopher Steele told British radio station LBC “the growing disarray in the Kremlin”.
Steele’s comments follow weeks of rumors about the Russian president’s health.
President Vladimir Putin’s grip on power is fading and he has to take regular breaks for treatment, according to former British spy Christopher Steele.
“Our understanding is that there is growing disarray in the Kremlin and chaos,” Steele said in an interview with British radio station LBC on Wednesday.
Steele is a former MI6 agent who worked for many years in Russia, including heading the spy agency’s Russian office for three years.
He told LBC: “There is no clear political leadership coming from Putin, who is getting sicker and sicker, and in military terms the command structures etc. are not functioning as they should. “
He did not cite his sources but said he was “fairly confident” in his claims. Putin’s top spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, has repeatedly denied any trouble.
“What we do know is that he is constantly on site with a team of doctors,” Steele said. Government meetings – many of which are televised – must be divided into sections so that Putin can go out and receive regular treatment, Steele argued.
“It certainly has a very serious impact on the governance of Russia right now,” he said.
Putin is unlikely to pull out of Ukraine “because of the kind of political wedge he’s painted himself in,” Steele said. He added: “That probably drives his wish to solidify his legacy as he sees it.”
Rumors about Putin’s health have been circulating for months. On May 14, Ukraine’s military intelligence chief, Major General Kyrylo Budanov, told Sky News that Putin was “very ill” and suggested a Kremlin coup was underway.
And rumors have swirled after recent TV appearances revealed the president looked pained, restless and puffy. They have led to speculation that the president may have dementia, Parkinson’s disease or a type of cancer.
Some tabloid speculation has been attributed to an anonymous Telegram account named “General SVR”. He claims to be a former senior Kremlin official, but Insider was unable to verify.
But in his interview with LBC, Steele gave credence to the Parkinson’s rumor, saying Putin “probably” has the disease. Nonetheless, “we don’t know the exact details of his illness,” Steele said.
In April, an in-depth investigation by independent Russian media Proekt also revealed, by reviewing flight records, that Putin has had a medical entourage over the past decade, with up to a dozen doctors with him at all times. time – including numerous visits from a thyroid cancer specialist.
Steele authored the Trump-Russia dossier which included lewd allegations about the former US president, including the “pee tape” rumor.
No evidence has since been found of this tape, and other claims have been discredited or have yet to be independently confirmed, as reported by CNN.
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