Senior officials from three US intelligence agencies have claimed Vladimir Putin’s health was failing and he was being treated for cancer.
The US intelligence community believes Russian President Vladimir Putin’s health is suffering and he is being treated for cancer, according to a new report.
The rating, assigned by Newsweek to senior officials from three separate intelligence agencies, comes after months of speculation that the Russian strongman is suffering from terminal illnesses, the New York Post reports.
“Putin is definitely ill,” an official from the office of the director of national intelligence said, while noting, “whether he will die soon is pure speculation.”
Two other officials – one from the Defense Intelligence Agency and a retired Air Force officer – also claimed to have access to a full intelligence assessment of Putin’s health and said the Russian leader’s outlook were dark, according to the report.
The assessment supports the theory that Putin was absent from the world stage for much of April because he was undergoing treatment for advanced cancer, the report said.
“Is Putin sick? Absolutely,” the retired Air Force officer said. “But we shouldn’t let the expectation of his death lead to proactive actions on our part. A power vacuum after Putin could be very dangerous for the world.
The intelligence community also believes Putin is increasingly paranoid about his grip on power – and that he may have survived an assassination attempt in March.
“Putin’s grip is strong but no longer absolute,” said one of the senior intelligence officers. “The jockeys inside the Kremlin have never been so intense under his rule, with everyone feeling the end is near.”
Officials also warned that with Putin increasingly isolated, access to credible intelligence has become harder to come by.
“One of the sources of our best intelligence, namely contacts with foreigners, has largely dried up as a result of the war in Ukraine,” the senior DIA official said, noting that Putin having less meetings with foreign leaders, there are fewer opportunities to learn more. its state.
“We have to be aware of the influence of wishful thinking,” the retired Air Force chief said.
Yet the sources said that following a television appearance in April – in which the Russian leader was seen clumsily gripping a table during a meeting with his defense minister – the intelligence community has told the White House that Putin was sick and most likely dying.
Rumors of Putin’s imminent demise have been reported since the early days of his invasion of Ukraine.
In early April, a Russian investigative journalism outlet The project reported that Putin was quite ill and received regular visits from a reputable Russian oncologist.
This account was followed by several reports, some from Telegram channels allegedly aligned with Kremlin dissidents, that the former KGB man was due to undergo various surgeries or was looking for a potential successor.
Regardless of Putin’s health, the DIA official warned against underestimating the Russian president.
“He’s still dangerous, and chaos awaits if he dies. We have to focus on that. Be ready,” he said.
This article originally appeared on the New York Post and has been republished with permission.