What Happened to the Putin Cancer Rumors? – Since the war in Ukraine began in February, rumors have circulated that Russian President Vladimir Putin is suffering from a wealth of different health conditions, from cancer and Parkinson’s Disease to psychosis and schizoaffective disorders.
In recent months, those rumors have died down a little – but they haven’t gone away entirely.
Some say Putin has recovered from cancer, while others say he is still undergoing treatment. Some even question whether the rumors are one huge distraction.
Here’s the latest possibility on Putin’s (rumored) ill health.
Could Putin Lose Access To Life-Saving Treatment?
One Russian Telegram channel recently suggested that the Russian president is still undergoing long-term treatment and that he could soon struggle to access the treatment he needs over worsening Israeli-Russian relations.
According to the General SVR Telegram channel, which is rumored to be run by a former Russian intelligence agent, the Russian president has been warned that he may lose his supply of drugs purchased from Israel that are being used for his treatment.
“The main drugs for the treatment of oncology by Vladimir Putin were prescribed by Israeli doctors and purchased in Israel,” the Telegram channel claims.
“During the years of oncology treatment by the Russian president, all attempts to [obtain] ‘import substitution’ drugs only led to a deterioration in health – and experiments were abandoned.”
Of course, it goes without saying we cannot vet any of these claims.
With the war in Ukraine putting pressure on Israeli-Russian relations, Putin could well find himself struggling to maintain supply lines between the two countries – and if the rumors of his ill health and treatment are true, it could put his life in danger.
Anlaysis: No Evidence to Support Cancer Claims
Ultimately, talk of Putin’s ill health is just that – talk.
There is no evidence that Putin is undergoing cancer treatment, and the only evidence that the Russian leader may be struggling with health issues are curious videos showing his hands and legs shaking at random intervals, and his face looking puffy. While these symptoms could indicate illness or steroid use, they could also be explained by a multitude of other factors.
In July, CIA director William Burns insisted that there is no evidence that the rumors of Putin’s ill health are true, and that he actually looks extremely healthy.
“There are lots of rumors about President Putin’s health and, as far as we can tell, he is apparently too health,” Burns said.
That being said, a lack of evidence that the rumors are true doesn’t mean that they aren’t. The fact remains that videos show Putin struggling to stand properly, and some even show him grabbing hold of his own limbs to stop them from shaking. It could be true that Putin is unwell, but it may also be propaganda designed to undermine him.
Even Ukrainian media outlets have to admit that the evidence just isn’t there. Well, at least for now.
Jack Buckby is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.