Rumors of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s poor health have persisted for months now, thanks to his bizarre appearance, his aberrant behavior, and a number of inside sources.
The most consistent information, which has been corroborated by at least one Pentagon source, is that Putin is currently suffering from allegedly terminal bowel cancer. The former KGB agent is also believed to have relinquished power to a close confidante during a recent surgical operation, and was seen struggling to simply remain seated during a recent public appearance.
But this week, as Putin heads to Iran to bolster his relationship with the authoritarian Islamic regime, one high level US intelligence official believes that the Russian leader is looking a little too good.
Vladimir Putin is “entirely too healthy,” CIA Director William Burns said Wednesday, throwing cold water on constant rumors that the Russian president is suffering from illness as he pursues his war on Ukraine.
Burns, speaking at the Aspen Security Forum, noted that his declaration was “not a formal intelligence judgment.” Still, given his position, Burns’ comment could help dampen hopes among Putin’s adversaries that the Russian’s demise is near.
In addition, Burns had a warning for Putin as he engaged with Iran.
“As far as we can tell, he’s entirely too healthy,” he said when asked by NBC’s Andrea Mitchell about Putin’s health.Advertisement - story continues below
He indicated that the Iranians should rethink any decision to give drones to Putin. At the same time, Burns said that the fact that Putin is turning to Iran for such weaponry is a sign of the weakness of Russia’s own defense sector.
While the rumors of Putin’s health concerns continue to waver, there is little doubt that many throughout the world would prefer to see him looking a little worse for the wear.