Sick Putin Will Be 'Gone' By 2023, Sent To Sanatorium: Ex-MI6 Chief

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

A former MI6 chief has predicted that Russian President Vladimir Putin will likely land in a long-term medical facility by 2023 amid rumors that he is suffering from health issues. 

Speaking on the One Decision podcast last week, Sir Richard Dearlove said Putin, 69, could be replaced as Russia’s president next year and be sent to a sanatorium. 

“I’m really going to stick my neck out. I think he’ll be gone by 2023,” Dearlove said. adding, “Probably into the sanatorium, from which he will not emerge as leader of Russia.”

During his interview, Dearlove also added that he believes Nikolai Patrushev will replace Putin as the president should he be sent to the medical facility. Patrushev, who was once dubbed as “Kremlin Hawk” by POLITICO, served as an intelligence agent with the Soviet KGB and later the Russian FSB. He is now serving as a member of Putin’s Security Council. 

“If my thesis were fulfilled and Putin did disappear into a sanatorium, I think he’s the likely stand in,” Dearlove said. “And of course the stand in this scenario probably becomes permanent. I mean, you know there is no succession in the Russian leadership. They certainly don’t succession plan.”

Dearlove’s comment echoes a claim made on a Telegram channel, “General SVR,” that Putin would hand over power to Patrushev when he undergoes cancer surgery. However, the channel said Patrushev would likely only remain in power for up to three days. 

Questions about Putin’s health condition have emerged since the war in Ukraine began on Feb. 24. Speculations that the Russian leader is suffering from a medical condition sparked anew after he appeared to be clinging to a table during a meeting with Russian oligarch Sergey Chemezov. The incident happened days after he was speculated to have undergone surgery to remove fluid from his abdomen. 

Another clip that surfaced showed Putin fidgeting and continuously twisting his toes and heels during a meeting with Tajikistan’s President Emomali Rahmon. The Russian president’s odd behavior did not go unnoticed by Rahmon, who was seen looking at Putin’s feet during their discussion.

The Kremlin has not publicly commented on Putin’s health since the start of the war.

The International Business Times also could not independently verify claims about Putin’s condition.

Russian President Putin attends CSTO summit in Moscow
Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Photo: Reuters / SPUTNIK

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