Oliver Stone Says Putin Had Cancer in Years He Shadowed Him for Project

American film director Oliver Stone said on Tuesday that Vladimir Putin has struggled with cancer during the time in which the filmmaker focused his work on the Russian president.

The Oscar-winning director told podcast interviewer Lex Fridman that Putin has overcome his cancer. "Remember this, Mr. Putin has had this cancer and I think he's licked it," he said without specifying the type of cancer the Russian president had.

The American director, who has been credited for films JFK, Scarface, and Platoon, had multiple interviews with Putin from 2015 to 2017 on topics that were not off-limits, the British radio station LBC reported on Saturday. Stone has not met Putin for 3 years, according to TDPel Media.

Stone's claims come amid ongoing speculation about Putin's health as the Russian war in Ukraine continues.

Oliver Stone Says Putin Had Cancer
American film director Oliver Stone said that President Vladimir Putin has struggled with cancer during the time in which the filmmaker focused his work on the Russian president. Pictured above, Putin waves during the Victory Day Parade at Red Square on May 9 in Moscow, Russia. Photo by Contributor/Getty Images

The Kremlin has not publicly commented about Putin's health since the start of the war. However, Christopher Steele, a former intelligence official in the U.K., recently said that Putin left meetings to receive medical treatments.

"Meetings of the security council that are shown to supposedly last for a whole hour are actually broken up into several sections," Steele, who served in the MI6 intelligence office, said during an interview with LBC Radio. "[Putin] goes out and receives some kind of medical treatment between those sections."

Steele added that Putin is "constantly accompanied around the place by a team of doctors." Steele didn't explain the basis of his speculation, but claimed "it's certainly having a very serious impact on the governance of Russia at the moment."

"There's increasing disarray in the Kremlin and chaos, in fact, that there's no clear political leadership coming from Putin, who is increasingly ill," he added.

On May 16, Steele made similar remarks about Putin's health as he told Sky News "certainly, from what we're hearing from sources in Russia and elsewhere, is that Putin is, in fact, quite seriously ill."

"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," Steele added.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian head of military intelligence, Major General Kyrylo Budanov, said earlier this month that Putin is "very sick."

"Mr. Putin is in a very bad psychological and physical condition and he is very sick," Budanov said.

Putin's health has been repeatedly questioned since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24. In April, Visegrád 24 News posted a video on Twitter speculating that the Russian president might have Parkinson's Disease.

"This is probably the clearest video of something being wrong with Putin's health. Look at his leg & hand tremors! Any doctor out there willing to weigh in? Parkinson?" Visegrád 24 News wrote on Twitter.

Another video showed Putin gripping a table during a meeting with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, prompting social media users to question Putin's health.

Newsweek reached out to the Russian foreign affairs ministry for comments.