Putin ‘very ill with blood cancer’ claims oligarch amid ‘purge of top generals’
VLADIMIR Putin is “very ill with blood cancer,” a top oligarch has allegedly claimed, in the latest rumours about the Russian president’s health.
The Russian business leader that features in the audio recording, who is close to the Kremlin, also accuses Putin of “ruining” Russia’s economy through his doomed war in Ukraine.
In the recording, obtained by New Lines Magazine and reportedly made in mid-March, the oligarch describes Putin as “very ill with blood cancer,” although it isn’t clear exactly what type of cancer he has.
He goes on: “He [Putin] absolutely ruined Russia’s economy, Ukraine’s economy, and many other economies – ruined absolutely.
“The problem is with his head… One crazy guy can turn the world upside down.”
A Western venture capitalist who works with the oligarch secretly recorded the conversation and shared it on the condition that he remain anonymous.
He said he went behind his Russian colleague’s back because of his disgust at Putin’s war in Ukraine.
New Lines Magazine, published by the non-partisan think tank the Center for Global Policy, said that the oligarch was listed by Russian Forbes as one of the country’s 200 richest businessmen.
The magazine’s news director Michael Weiss, who wrote the piece, added that the oligarch could have been sincere, or he may have been deliberately trying to spread disinformation.
It comes amid claims Putin has purged more of his top generals as his forces remain bogged down in a calamitous war.
General Valery Gerasimov – chief of staff of the Russian armed forces – has reportedly been suspended, according to Ukrainian sources.
Oleksiy Arestovych, a Ukrainian military intelligence veteran and top adviser to president Volodymyr Zelensky, also claimed Lieutenant General Sergei Kisel had been fired and arrested.
Kisel was the commander of the first tank army of the western military district and had overseen the disastrous Russian retreat from Kharkiv.
A further two Russian army generals and two naval commanders have either been arrested, sacked, or are under investigation, according to Ukraine’s interior ministry.
If true, it would be the largest purge of Russia’s upper military ranks since the invasion on February 24.
The problem is with his head… One crazy guy can turn the world upside down
Speaking to dissident Russian lawyer and politician Mark Feygin on YouTube on Wednesday night, Arestovych said: “According to preliminary investigation, Gerasimov has been de-facto suspended.
“They are deciding whether to give him time to fix things, or not.”
He added that Lieutenant General Kisel “has also been arrested and fired after the first tank army was defeated near Kharkiv”.
Two further army commanders have been fired due to heavy Russian battlefield losses, as well as the commander of the Black Sea fleet, who has been sacked and arrested, while his vice admiral has been placed under investigation.
This information was published on a Telegram channel run by Ukraine’s interior ministry.
Rumours have been swirling about Gerasimov’s position in recent days after he failed to appear at Monday’s Victory Day Parade in Moscow.
Earlier this month, it was reported that Gerasimov had been wounded in Ukraine and was sent back to Russia just days after he had arrived in the country to take charge of the war.
He had been sent by Putin to take personal control of the push to grab territory in the Donbas and in eastern Ukraine.
However, unconfirmed reports claimed the 66-year-old was injured during fighting in Izyum near Kharkiv, where much of the conflict is now focused.
Putin’s health has been subject to huge scrutiny in the wake of the war in Ukraine, and rumours continued to swirl in the wake of Monday’s military parade when the tyrant was seen with a blanket over his legs.
Claims from anti-Kremlin sources allege that Putin, 69, is due to have cancer surgery “at any moment”.
The rumours, which first appeared on the Telegram channel General SVR also alleged that the Russian president would use body doubles to stand in for him at public appearances.
Last month, it was claimed Putin will hand power over to his key spy chief Nikolai Patrushev.
The 70-year-old Patrushev is seen as a key architect of the Ukraine war strategy and the man who convinced the president that Kyiv is controlled by neo-Nazis.
While US officials have speculated Putin may be killed in a coup by his own generals over his shambolic invasion plan.
Former US general Jack Keane said Putin has “no future” beyond being the Russian president, although he warned that will “do anything” to stay in power.
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