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Russian president Vladimir Putin is reportedly being treated for cancer, according to US intelligence.

High-ranking officials at three separate intelligence agencies made the assessment with reports emerging in US media.

It comes after a period of prolonged speculation that the Russian leader is suffering from terminal ailments.

“Putin is definitely sick,” an official from the office of the director of National Intelligence told Newsweek, while noting, “whether he’s going to die soon is just mere speculation.”

Two other officials – one from the Defence Intelligence Agency and one retired Air Force officer – also claimed to have access to a comprehensive intelligence assessment of Putin’s health and said the outlook for the Russian leader is bleak, according to the report.

The assessment supports the theory that Putin was missing from the world stage for much of April because he was undergoing treatment for advanced cancer.

“Is Putin sick? Absolutely,” said the retired Air Force officer. “A power vacuum after Putin could be very dangerous for the world.”

The intelligence community also believes that Putin is increasingly paranoid about his hold on power.

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“Putin’s grip is strong, but no longer absolute,” said one of the senior intelligence officers. “The jockeying inside the Kremlin has never been more intense during his rule.”

The officials also warned that as Putin has become increasingly isolated, access to credible intelligence has become more difficult to obtain.

Still, the sources said that following televised appearance back in April – in which the Russian leader was seen awkwardly gripping a table while meeting with his defence minister – the intelligence community told the White House that Putin was ill and most likely dying.

  • Russia
  • Vladimir Putin
  • Cancer

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