Putin Still ‘In Control’ Despite Failing Health Rumors

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Russian President Vladimir Putin
Russian President Vladimir Putin is rumored to be suffering from blood cancer and Parkinson's disease

Russian President Vladimir Putin remains “in control” of the Kremlin despite rumors that he is suffering from serious illnesses, according to Western officials.

Ukraine’s military intelligence chief Maj. Gen. Kyrylo Budanov, on May 14, claimed that a coup to remove Putin from power was already in progress in Russia amid rumors that the Russian leader is suffering from cancer. 

"It will eventually lead to the change of leadership of the Russian Federation. This process has already been launched and they are moving into that way," Budanov said. "It is impossible to stop it."

However, Western officials Monday dismissed Budanov’s claims and added that despite rumors of his failing health, Putin still holds great power in the Russian government.

"My observation is that at the moment President Putin is firmly in control of his inner circle, the country, and the decisions which are being made, irrespective of any speculation about his health," an official who spoke on condition of anonymity told The Business Insider. "President Putin is still the decision-maker." 

Western officials also cast doubt on a claim Budanov made during an interview with Ukrainska Pravda, where he said Putin survived an assassination attempt at the start of the war against Ukraine. 

Budanov appeared to suggest that the assassination attempt in March was not instigated by Ukraine but was instead conducted by unnamed operators in the Caucasus. The Caucasus, also known as Caucasia, is a region comprising Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and parts of Russia’s southern region. 

Western officials said any attempt to assassinate Putin would be difficult to execute, noting that the Russian leader has a “controlled environment” around him. The officials also added that Putin has appeared in fewer public engagements and has had fewer contacts as of late. 

The remarks from Western officials come as Kremlin sources claimed that several of Putin’s allies and members of the Russian business community are discussing who could replace him amid the ongoing war against Ukraine. Among the list of candidates being eyed include former President Dmitry Medvedev, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin and deputy chief of staff Sergei Kirienko. 

News about Putin’s possible replacement comes as Russia has been hit with five rounds of economic sanctions, with a sixth round possibly on the way. 


The United States is ramping up pressure on Russian President Vladimir Putin, ending an escape clause allowing his government to pay foreign debts
The United States is ramping up pressure on Russian President Vladimir Putin, ending an escape clause allowing his government to pay foreign debts
Photo: POOL via AFP / Alexander NEMENOV

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