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Putin to undergo cancer treatment, power to be handed over temporarily to ex-KGB chief – reports

Russian President Vladimir Putin may hand over power temporarily to the secretary of the country's Security Council, Nikolai Patrushev, during his recovery. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

Russian President Vladimir Putin may hand over power temporarily to the secretary of the country's Security Council, Nikolai Patrushev, during his recovery. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

Published May 24, 2022

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Cape Town - Reports have surfaced that Russian President Vladimir Putin may be forced to hand over power temporarily in order to undergo cancer surgery.

According to Asian News International, the secretary of the country’s Security Council, Nikolai Patrushev, will step up to take charge as the anticipated surgery and recovery is expected to incapacitate Putin for a “short time”.

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The New York Post cited a Telegram channel purportedly run by a former Russian Foreign Intelligence Service lieutenant-general that referred to Putin's “sickly appearance and uncharacteristically fidgety behaviour in public” in recent times.

It added that the Russian president has been rumoured to suffer from cancer and a host of other serious maladies, including Parkinson’s disease.

However, a US official said that the media reports could not be verified with Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby saying on Monday that “I have seen nothing that could help us corroborate that,” the New York Post reported.

“We know that Putin signalled to Patrushev that he considers him to be practically his only trusted ally and friend in the government,” the Post reported. “Additionally, the president promised that if his health takes a turn for the worse, actual control of the country will temporarily pass into Patrushev’s hands.”

Meanwhile, the Daily Mail reported that the Kremlin has always strongly denied Putin’s medical problems and said he is in robust health.

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