'I am sure Putin has cancer and will die soon', Ukraine spy chief says

5 January 2023, 18:19

Mr Budanov hopes Putin will die soon
Mr Budanov hopes Putin will die soon. Picture: Alamy

By Will Taylor

Vladimir Putin will die "very quickly" having fought with cancer for a long time, Ukraine's head of defence intelligence has claimed.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

Kyrylo Budanov said his agency has been tipped off by Kremlin sources that the Russian leader has the disease.

It's the latest claim about Putin's health, with the suggestions focusing on his sometimes sickly appearance in public and his habit of holding meetings at a distance, or remotely.

"He has been sick for a long time. I am sure he has cancer. I think he will die very quickly. I hope very soon," Mr Budanov told ABC News.

He added that he believes the war will be won by Ukraine this year and that it should be won before Putin dies.

While the West has wondered about the implications of life after Putin – whether he is in fact terminally ill or whether a palace coup resulting from a backlash against the failed invasion removes him from power – it has not been verified if the leader is sick.

Read more: Vladimir Putin orders 36-hour Christmas truce as Ukraine says Russian forces must leave first

Putin's health has been speculated over for months
Putin's health has been speculated over for months. Picture: Alamy

Bloggers and Kremlin-watchers claim to have been passed information about regular visits from cancer specialists and the medication Putin is said to be taking.

There have even been suggestions a terminal illness or his medication have driven him into poor decision making, in particular the decision to invade Ukraine as the cost of tens of thousands of Russians who have been killed or injured, and an economy under heavy sanctions.

Previously, the head of the CIA, William Burns, told a reporters Putin was too healthy.

The Kremlin, for its part, insists Putin is fine.

Read more: Prince Harry admits taking cocaine as a teenager 'to feel different'

It comes as the Russian leader ordered a 36-hour ceasefire to observe the Orthodox Christmas, with Moscow calling on Kyiv to honour it. Ukraine has rejected it as propaganda.

Ukrainians have frequently warned about how Moscow's invitations to pause fighting usually just offer it a chance to reset and ready for a further push.

The ceasefire was called just days after Ukraine unleashed a devastating missile volley at troops in the Donbas region just as Putin delivered his New Year's message.

And Russia is failing to capture Bakhmut, a city in the Donetsk region which Putin wants to take in his bid to capture all of the oblast – one of the four he has illegally declared part of Russia.

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Jay Slater had travelled to the Canary Islands for a music festival

Spanish police reject help from Lancashire Constabulary as desperate search for missing Brit Jay Slater continues

Kemi Badenoch has warned that Labour will reverse Brexit

Keir Starmer will 'reverse Brexit' if Labour wins election, Kemi Badenoch warns

Jay Slater had travelled to the Canary Islands for a music festival

Owner of flat where missing Brit Jay Slater was staying in Tenerife spotted him 'walking fast' up dangerous ravine

Labour is said to be drafting options for wealth taxes

Labour 'draws up plans for wealth taxes' in bid to 'unlock' funds for public services

Nigel Farage said that the West had provoked Putin into invading Ukraine

'We gave Putin an excuse': Nigel Farage says the West provoked Russia into invading Ukraine

Just Stop Oil plans major disruption to summer holidays with private jet stunt just the start

Two charged after Just Stop Oil protesters sprayed private jets with orange paint at Stansted Airport

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak

Tories raise less than £300k in second week of election campaign, as over three-quarters of all donations go to Labour

File photo of passengers boarding an Easyjet plane

Chaos as Easyjet kicks 26 men off flight headed from the UK to Portugal for 'disruptive behaviour'

Bardia Shojeifard

'Outwardly normal' teen killer with 'worrying interest in knives' posed with huge blade before murdering Alfie Lewis, 15

Police were called to a property at Shorncliffe Road shortly after 3pm on Sunday

Pictured: Baby girl mauled to death in Coventry dog attack at family home

Public schoolboy guilty of attempted murder after vicious clawhammer attack on sleeping staff and students ahead of 'zombie apocalypse'

Public schoolboy obsessed by 'zombie apocalypse' guilty of claw hammer attack on sleeping staff and students

PC Idominik Efeotor raised the issue at the annual State of London debate

'The people who investigate the officers are the problem’: Black Met officer hits out at disproportionate treatment in disciplinary process

Salisbury Novichok victim Dawn Sturgess

Former spy and daughter may give evidence at Salisbury poisonings inquiry

Rishi Sunak has urged voters not to let Labour 'waltz into office'

'Don't let Labour waltz into office', Sunak tells voters as Brits may not 'ever' be able to get them out of power

Exclusive
Starmer says eco mob 'needs to feel the full force of the law' as he slams 'pathetic' Just Stop Oil

Starmer says 'pathetic' eco mob 'needs to feel the full force of the law' as two charged for private jet stunt

The M6

Drivers face misery as major motorway closed for three days next week, sending cars on 90 minute diversion