Former British spy Christopher Steele has claimed that Putin is “quite seriously ill”. Speaking to Sky News on Sunday, he said: “Certainly, from what we’re hearing from sources in Russia and elsewhere, is that Putin is, in fact, quite seriously ill.” He added: “It’s not clear exactly what this illness is — whether it’s incurable or terminal, or whatever.
“But certainly, I think it’s part of the equation.”
But this is not the first time Putin’s health has come into question in the public eye in the last decade.
A list compiled by Bloomberg revealed Putin’s escalating health concerns, which began as far back as 2012.
In 2012, three Russian Government sources told Reuters that the Russian president had back problems and would soon need surgery.
The Kremlin denied it at the time but later said the issue was a result of an “ordinary sporting injury”.
It was later reported that Putin was wearing a corset and limiting sit-down engagements due to likely back problems.
Four years later, between 2016 and 2017, it was revealed that Putin was being accompanied by five doctors wherever he went.
This number later increased to 13.
According to independent Russian news outlet Proekt, he was accompanied by an Ear Nose and Throat specialist, an infectious diseases specialist, a staff rescuscitologist, and a neurosurgeon.
In August 2016, Putin disappeared from the public eye, with a cancer doctor in tow.
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The Russian President later began imposing increasingly stringent isolation procedures on anyone due to see him face-to-face.
According to the New York Times, Putin required everyone to self-isolate for two weeks prior to meeting with him and made them pass through a disinfectant tunnel.
This was weeks after Russia had lifted most of its Covid lockdown measures.
He was later pictured conducting his meetings at a very long table, thought to be an attempt to promote excessive social distancing.
In the last few months, since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, there has been mounting speculation over the Russian President’s health.
In April, Putin was pictured looking extremely uncomfortable while gripping the table in a meeting with his defence minister.
In May, a recording obtained by New Lines Magazine showed an anonymous Russian oligarch claiming the Russian president has blood cancer.
The same month, Ukrainian intelligence chief Major General Kyrylo Budanov told Sky News that the Kremlin leader was in “very bad psychological and physical condition and he is very sick.”
In an interview with Ukrainian outlet Pravda, General Budanoc added: “He has several serious illnesses, one of which is cancer.
“But it is not worth hoping that Putin will die tomorrow.
“He has at least a few more years.
“Like it or not, but it’s true.”