On Saturday, April 30, a Telegram channel named “General SVR” claimed that Russian President Vladimir Putin will reportedly undergo surgery for his cancer. Putin will reportedly hand over the powers of the government to Nikolai Patrushev, who is the Secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation.
The origin of this development came from the mysterious Telegram channel, which is reportedly run by a Kremlin insider. The unproven report stated that Putin will be incapacitated (seemingly under anesthesia) during his surgery.
A similar temporary shift of power was exercised by Putin’s American counterpart, US President Joe Biden. In November last year, Biden transferred the power of being the President of the United States to his Vice President Kamala Harris, as he went under anesthesia during his annual checkup.
What is known about Russian President Vladimir Putin’s health problem?
As per the claims in the unverified video from Telegram, the 69-year-old President has some form of cancer near his abdominal region. The video further claimed that Vladimir Putin has schizoaffective disorder along with Parkinson’s disease. According to the Kremlin insider, the Russian President also suffers from the symptoms of schizophrenia, which include that of mania and hallucinations.
While the claims of schizophrenia and cancer were not backed by any sources, several videos in the past have showcased Putin to be “fidgety.” This caused much speculation from global media publications about the Russian President possibly having Parkinson's disease. In a recent video uploaded by the Kremlin, Putin fidgeted after sitting down with the Russian defense minister Sergei Shoigu. Putin also gripped the table and tapped his shoe at regular intervals as he sat in a hunched back position during the discussion.
At the time, former UK politician Louise Mensch speculated that Putin gripped the edge of the table with his right hand to prevent it from shaking. Further observations were made by netizens on Twitter, who stated that Putin had only gripped the table with his right hand as it was the one which was clearly visible on camera.
Meanwhile, earlier reports of Vladimir Putin’s health condition from the Daily Mail (circa late March) cited claims of the Five Eyes intelligence alliance (which includes Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States). The alliance claimed that the Russian President suffered from symptoms of dementia and Parkinson’s disease as a side-effect of the steroid treatment for his cancer.
While most of these reports remain unconfirmed, the American Parkinson Disease Association cited that multiple studies have demonstrated the correlation of Parkinson’s disease with cancer. The organization also claimed that patients with Parkinson’s disease have a higher risk for cancer.