Is Vladimir Putin Sick? What We Know About the Russian President's Health

Following many unconfirmed reports, there has been plenty of speculation that Vladimir Putin, Russian's president is seriously ill.

These reports include an oligarch, who is close to the Kremlin, being recorded on tape stating that "the president is very ill with blood cancer."

Doctors close to the president have also allegedly stated that he has just three years left to live. An unnamed FSB officer, cited by the FSB defector Boris Karpichkov, further claimed that Putin "has no more than two to three years to stay alive", as he has "a severe form of rapidly progressing cancer."

Speculation is rapidly growing around the 69-year-old's health, as many have stated that his health is declining rapidly.

Is Vladimir Putin ill?

There has been several unconfirmed sources claiming that Putin is not in good health. An unidentified spy has stated that "Putin is losing his sight and suffering from headaches," whilst a Russian officer has claimed that "Putin's limbs are "now also shaking uncontrollably."

Despite all of these claims being unverified, they draw similar conclusions: that Vladimir Putin is ill with blood cancer, and that it's spreading rapidly.

Additionally, videos and footage have emerged from earlier this year which shows Putin's hand shaking as well as him attempting to grip a table for support. The latter occurred during a meeting broadcast in April.

General SVR, an anonymous Telegram channel that purports to be run by a former Russian Foreign Intelligence Service agent, has claimed that Putin will undergo surgery for cancer very soon. Allegedly, Putin's doctors have told him that the surgery might immobilize him for "a short time."

Although there are no concrete facts on who would be his temporary replacement, there has been speculation that Nikolai Patrushev, the secretary of Russia's National Security Council, would take over.

As Newsweek's Fact Check team reported previously, while the Telegram channel does enjoy a large following and is widely quote in Western media, it has offered no evidence to support its self-proclaimed affiliation with former or current Russian intelligence officials or the country's security apparatus.

Furthermore, in April, Dmitry Peskov, Kremlin spokesman denied that Putin had undergone surgery, and said his health was "excellent."

Could this be a strategy?

Many have also claimed that this could be a strategy for people to sympathize with him, particularly as his popularity plummeted following his order of the invasion of Ukraine. He is facing global condemnation for his war with the European country.

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a Summit
Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a Summit Getty Images

As Newsweek previously reported, earlier this month Olga Lautman reported that as Russia is such a controlled society Putin's exhibition of symptoms of sickness could only be "theatrics and distraction."

Olga Lautman is a senior fellow at the Center for European Policy Analysis.

The Kremlin, which Newsweek has contacted for comment, has repeatedly insisted that the Russian President is in good health.

Correction 5/30/22 5:53 p.m. EDT: This article was corrected to say that there is no evidence to support the claim that General SVR Telegram channel is run by current or former Russian intelligence officials, as it claims.