Terming the condition of Vladimir Putin as sick, former British spy Christopher Steele has said that the Russian President is suffering from a serious illness.
According to the spy, "It's not clear exactly what this illness is - whether it's incurable or terminal, or whatever. But certainly, I think it's part of the equation." However, it is an "element" of what is occurring in Ukraine, NDTV reported.
"Certainly, from what we're hearing from sources in Russia and elsewhere, is that Putin is, in fact, quite seriously ill," Steele told Sky News, who wrote a dossier on Donald Trump and alleged Russian interference in the 2016 US election campaign.
An oligarch, who is closely connected with Putin, has been heard saying "Putin is very ill with Blood cancer".
In a recording, the unnamed oligarch was heard discussing the matter with a Western venture capitalist.
Since the beginning of the Russia-Ukraine war, rumours have been circulating about Putin being unwell.
According to a report by The Sun, the Russian business leader that features in the audio recording has also accused Putin of "ruining" Russia’s economy through his doomed war in Ukraine.
On May 9, the day of Russia's Victory Parade, which commemorated the Soviet Union defeating Nazi Germany in the Second World War, Putin was seen covering himself with a blanket. A photo of him wearing a green blanket on his lapse was also being circulated on social media.
Further, in the recording which was obtained by US magazine New Lines, the Oligarch was heard saying that the surgery Putin had on his back was somehow connected to his blood cancer.
The unnamed oligarch was also heard saying that the president had gone "crazy".
Meanwhile, a top Ukrainian military official has also claimed the Russian leader has cancer and other ailments. He stated to Sky News that Putin is in a "very bad psychological and physical condition and he is very sick".
Earlier this month, media reports claimed that the Russian President might undergo cancer surgery and will temporarily hand over power to hardline Security Council head and former Federal Security Service (FSB) commander Nikolai Patrushev.
(with sources inputs)