A “CANCER-riddled” Vladimir Putin is surrounded by doctors and takes breaks during meetings for treatment, a Brit ex-spy has claimed.
Christopher Steele, who previously worked the Russia desk at MI6 and published intelligence on Donald Trump‘s 2016 presidential campaign, said the “exact details” of the ailing autocrat’s illness were still not known.
“He’s constantly accompanied around the place by a team of doctors,” Steele told Brit radio station LBC.
“Meetings of the security council that are shown to supposedly last for a whole hour are actually broken up into several sections… he goes out and receives some kind of medical treatment between those sections.
“And so clearly he is seriously ill, I mean how terminal or incurable it is is not clear… we can’t be entirely sure.
“But it’s certainly having a very serious impact on the governance of Russia at the moment.”
He said the Kremlin was in “increasing disarray… and chaos” and that there was “no clear political leadership” coming from Putin, who he claims is “increasingly ill”.
This has caused the Russian army’s structure of command to “not function as [it] should”.
Steele said chief of staff Valery Gerasimov “has basically disappeared”, with rumours circulating he was either injured in a Ukrainian attack or side-lined by Putin.
And he said the so-called “Butcher of Syria” Aleksandr Dvornikov did not appear to be in charge of Russia’s military front.
“It looks increasingly febrile and increasingly unstable inside the Kremlin,” the contentious ex-spy said.
And Putin has “painted himself into a corner” making any withdrawal from Ukraine unlikely out of fear for his safety.
“The Russian Kremlin is a bit like a shark pool, they all swim round and if they smell blood in the water or taste blood in the water they start fighting,” Steele said.
There are growing concerns over Putin’s health in recent months.
The isolated leader’s appearance and behaviour have led many to believe he is suffering from Parkinson’s or some form of cancer.
Earlier this month, Putin was caught retching and spluttering through a televised meeting in the Kremlin.
The Russian president’s face looked bloated as he gripped the table in front of him during talks with Sergey Chemezov, head of state-owned defence giant Rostec.
In April, a video circulated showing Putin “shaking uncontrollably” during a meeting with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko.
And another video emerged showing him gripping a table and constantly fidgeting during a meeting with his defence minister Sergei Shoigu.
He was also seen clutched a blanket during May’s Victory Day parade, sparking rumours he was unwell.