VLADIMIR Putin missed his gymnast lover’s birthday because he had to undergo an operation, a Kremlin insider has claimed.
It’s said having to go under the knife meant he missed Alina Kabaeva’s 39th birthday celebrations.
Putin has never publicly acknowledged he’s in a relationship with Olympic gold medal winning rhythmic gymnast Kabaeva.
The General SVR Telegram channel says that on May 12, Kabaeva was given a birthday present from Putin only in the afternoon, which is said to have upset her.
Putin was unable to celebrate with her because he had an operation the next day, says the channel, thought it didn’t elaborate on what the procedure was for.
The General SVR is reportedly run by a Kremlin insider and recently reported Putin had emergency surgery to drain fluid from his abdomen.
That forced his underlings to manipulate footage of a recent TV appearance.
Rumours of Putin’s declining health have been circulating in the wake of his invasion of Ukraine, with reports that his decision making has been clouded by illness.
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.
A former Brit spy this week claimed Putin is surrounded by doctors and takes breaks during meetings for treatment.
The Russia expert, who previously published intelligence on Donald Trump‘s 2016 presidential campaign, said the “exact details” of the ailing autocrat’s illness were still not known.
But he said Putin was “constantly” being followed around with doctors and isn’t able to pull through meetings without having a break for medical treatment.
“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.
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.