According to the SVR General Telegram channel, Putin will transfer control of the Russian government to Nikolai Patrushev for as long as it takes to recover from cancer surgery.
New rumors hang over the health of Russian President Vladimir Putin. According to unconfirmed reports from the General SVR Telegram channel published by the New York Post , Putin will undergo cancer surgery and temporarily hand over power to Nikolai Patrushev, a former federal police chief.
Putin will transfer control of the Russian government to Nikolai Patrushev, head of the Security Council of the Russian federal police, while he is incapacitated during and after the intervention, according to a video from the Telegram channel General SVR published this Saturday.
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The channel, which is allegedly run by a former Russian Foreign Intelligence Service lieutenant general known by the pseudonym Viktor Mikhailovich, reported that Putin was told by doctors that he must undergo such an operation. The surgery and recovery are expected to incapacitate Putin for "a short time," according to the unconfirmed information.
"It is unlikely that Putin will agree to hand over power for a longer period of time," says the narrator of the video, adding that control of the country will probably be in Patrushev 's hands for no more than two or three days. "I will say this is the worst option," adds the narrator of the video. "Parushev is an absolute villain. He is no better than Vladimir Putin. Besides, he is a more cunning, and I would say, more insidious person than Vladimir Putin. If he comes to power, the problems of the Russians will only multiply."
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"Viktor Mikhailovich" ominously hinted that he and his allies "will make some efforts so that this does not happen, and I hope that we will succeed." Pentagon spokesman John Kirby, when asked about the information Monday, said it could not be confirmed. "I haven't seen anything that can help us corroborate that," he said.
The video follows a report by Russian investigative outlet The Project, which claims that Putin has been seen by an oncologist 35 times in recent years. Putin has become so paranoid about his health, the outlet claimed, that he has even turned to unconventional therapies. Meanwhile, an oncologist, identified by the outlet as Evgeny Selivanov, has allegedly made dozens of secret visits to Putin's vacation home in Sochi over the past four years.
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The information also suggests that the Russian president secretly underwent surgery last fall. "In medical circles, it is believed that the president underwent a complicated procedure related to some form of thyroid disease during this period."
Putin, 70, whose sickly appearance and unusually restless behavior in public have raised questions about his health, is rumored to be suffering from cancer and a host of other serious illnesses, including Parkinson's.
In a Telegram post that appeared Thursday, Patrushev was alleged to have had a two-hour "face-to-face" conversation with Putin. "We know that Putin indicated to Patrushev that he considers him practically his only ally and trusted friend in the government," the publication stated. "Furthermore, the president promised that if his health worsens, the real control of the country will temporarily go to Patrushev," he added.