- Ex-British spy Christopher Steele has said his sources say Putin is very ill, according to Sky News.
- “It’s part of the equation” in Putin’s decision-making in Ukraine, Steele said.
- Steele compiled the infamous Trump-Russia dossier, much of which has been discredited.
- For more stories, visit Business Insider.
The former British spy who wrote an infamous dossier on former President Donald Trump’s dealings in Russia has quoted sources telling him that President Vladimir Putin is gravely ill.
Christopher Steele, who headed the Russian office of MI6 and worked as a spy in Moscow for years, told Sky News“Certainly, from what we hear from sources in Russia and elsewhere, Putin is, in fact, quite seriously ill.”
Claims about the 69-year-old leader’s health have been circulating for months. On Saturday, the head of Ukrainian military intelligence, Major General Kyrylo Budanov said to the sky that Putin is in “a very poor psychological and physical state and he is very ill.”
Budanov went on to suggest that the alleged illness prompted Russia to plan a coup.
In his interview with Sky, Steele suggested that Putin’s health is “an element” in his decision-making in Ukraine.
“It’s not known exactly what this disease is – whether it’s incurable or terminal, or whatever,” he said. “But definitely, I think that’s part of the equation.”
These complaints arise a few days after New Lines Magazine published the claims of an anonymous Russian oligarch who said that Putin is “very sick with blood cancer.New Lines said it verified the oligarch’s identity, but was unable to authenticate the recording.
Rumors about Putin’s health, which describe a panoply of ailments, are virtually impossible to confirm: Russian investigative media Project wrote in early April that the chef received dozens of visits from a thyroid cancer specialist.
Meanwhile, former KGB agent Boris Karpichkov said to the sun newspaper, without citing sources, that “there is grave concern” Putin suffers from dementia and Parkinson’s disease, among other illnesses.
Steele is the author of an information file who made multiple claims about Trump, including the existence of the “pee tape” – a Russian videotape purported to contain obscene material implicating Trump before his political career.
No evidence of the “pee tape” has been found, and other aspects of the report’s credibility have been called into question, as reported by CNN.
Steele worked under diplomatic cover as a spy in Moscow for three years in the 1990s, and between 2006 and 2009 he was head of MI6’s Russian bureau.