Vladimir Putin is 'becoming increasingly ill' says Steele
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Former British Government intelligence professional Christopher Steele has warned that Vladimir Putin’s unidentified disease is weakening leadership in Russia and impacting the deployment of troops in Ukraine. Ukrainian forces are reportedly holding the line in Ukraine and pushing back some Russian forces in previously occupied regions like Kharkiv. Despite Russian forces’ renewed incursions in the east and south of Ukraine, Russian troops seem to have failed in their attempt to take control of the coveted region of Donbas.
NATO alliance said the conflict will likely come to a standstill in the coming weeks. And Putin’s ailment could further debilitate Russian operations on the ground, according to Mr Steele.
Speaking to LBC, he said: “Our understanding is that there is increasing disarray in the Kremlin and chaos.
“In fact, there’s no clear political leadership coming from Putin who is increasingly ill.
“And in the military terms, the structures of commands and so on are not functioning as they should.
“And it’s an example of that: the chief of the general staff Gerasimov has basically disappeared.”
Mr Steele continued: “There were rumours last week that he’d been injured.
“But he actually hasn’t been seen in his office either. So, he’s either been dismissed, injured, or both.
“And when you go down to the front itself, the appointment of Dvornikov, the so-called Butcher of Syria, a month ago or so by Putin to command the front.
“He does seem to be in charge of the eastern part of the front”, Mr Steele added.
“But not the south of Crimea. So, it looks increasingly feebler, including unstable in some parts of the Kremlin.”
He continued: “What it does underlines that politically Putin can’t really draw back from the war or come to some kind of peace deal with the Ukrainians at the moment because of this sort of political corner he’s painted himself into
“We don’t know the exact details of what his ailment is. What we do know is that he’s constantly accompanied around the place by a team of doctors.
“That many of the set-piece shown on television, meetings of the security council that supposedly last a whole hour are actually broken up into several sections.
“And then he goes out and receives some kind of medical treatment between those sections.
“And so clearly, he’s seriously ill.”
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“I mean how a terminal disease this is, is not clear. Whether it’s cancer or Parkinson’s. It probably is but we can’t be entirely sure.
“But it’s certainly having a serious impact on the governance of Russia at the moment.”
When asked why his unknown illness have such an impact on Putin, Mr Steele said: “One is it’s probably driving his drive to solidify his legacy as he sees it, which is grabbing parts of Ukraine or at the beginning the whole of Ukraine.
“But also, the Kremlin is bit like a shark pool. They’ll swim around, if they smell blood in the water or taste blood in the water, they could start fighting.
“And I think there’s going to be a serious vacuum in the Kremlin soon if things continue the way that they are.”
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