The unconfirmed claims were made on the General SVR Telegram channel, which also said that Nikolai Patrushev, the Secretary of Russia’s Security Council, would deputise for his leader during his enforced absence. The Telegram channel has previously raised issues about Putin’s health – in particular they claimed the Russian president was suffering from Parkinson’s 18 months ago. In a recent post, General SVR said: “The Russian President Vladimir Putin has oncology, and the latest problems identified during his recent examination are associated with this disease.”
They added that the Russian despot’s doctors wanted to operate as soon as possible, but had yet to be given the go ahead by Putin.
They wrote: “Putin’s attending physicians insist on the need for him to undergo a surgical operation in the near future, and although Putin did not give his consent in principle and the date of the operation was not agreed, he hurried to explain himself and get Patrushev’s response and promises.”
Nikolai Patrushev is a former KGB officer and belongs to the so-called ‘siloviki’ faction – former security and military officials who are seen as political hardliners.
He is a long time associate of Putin and is believed to be a member of his inner circle.
General SVR claimed Putin told Patrushev that, in the event of post-surgery complications, he would be put in charge of temporarily running Russia.
They said: “But something else is interesting, we know that Putin made it clear to Patrushev, that he considers him almost the only truly confidant and friend in the system of power.
“Also, the president promised that in the event of a sharp deterioration in his, Putin’s, health, the actual control of the country would pass, temporarily, to Patrushev.”
The Telegram Channel made it clear that a Patrushev regency would be very bad news for Russia.
They said: “For our part, we want to make it clear that Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev, as a possible “chargé d’affaires” in the affairs of the president and the head of the country, is the worst option, even a temporary one, of a possible “successor”.
The Kremlin has repeatedly denied rumours about Putin’s health problems and insists that he is in good medical condition.
Their denials come despite a recent report by a Russian investigative news outlet, which claimed the 69-year-old president was visited 35 times by a thyroid cancer doctor.
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A doctor told investigators that thyroid diseases, including cancer, are normally first diagnosed by an otolaryngologist.
After the initial diagnosis has been established, an oncologist and a surgeon become involved in the treatment.