KEY POINTS

  • The temporary change in Russian leadership would likely last two to three days, claims a video
  • A Russian investigative outlet said Putin has seen a cancer doctor over 30 times in recent years
  • An oncologist has reportedly made dozens of secret visits to Putin's Sochi home 

Russian President Vladimir Putin is set to undergo cancer surgery and transfer the power to a former FSB chief while he is recovering from the procedure, according to a video posted on Telegram. 

The control of Russia’s government will be temporarily handed over to Nikolai Patrushev, head of the country’s Security Council, while Putin is incapacitated, claimed the video posted on the Telegram channel “General SVR” on Saturday. The channel is allegedly run by a former Russian Foreign Intelligence Service lieutenant general. 

The Telegram channel did not offer details about Putin’s possible illness or the operation. However, it noted that the “more insidious” Patrushev will likely remain in power for only two to three days. 

“Putin is unlikely to agree to hand over power for a longer period of time,” the narrator of the video posted on the channel said. “Patrushev is an outright villain. He is no better than Vladimir Putin. Moreover, he is a more cunning, and I would say, more insidious person than Vladimir Putin. If he comes to power, Russians’ problems will only multiply.”

Patrushev was once dubbed “Kremlin hawk” by POLITICO for his “fiery nationalism, conspiratorial worldview and extensive espionage experience.” He served as an intelligence agent with the Soviet KGB and Russian FSB before he was selected to head the agency for a decade by Putin. He resigned from his post in 2008 and later became part of Putin’s Security Council. 

The video comes after The Project, a Russian investigative outlet, alleged Sunday that Putin has seen a cancer doctor at least 35 times in recent years. The outlet also added that the Russian president has resorted to unconventional therapies, such as bathing in the blood extracted from deer antlers. 

The outlet also noted that oncologist Evgeny Selivanov has made dozens of covert visits to Putin’s home in Sochi over the past four years. 

The International Business Times could not verify the authenticity of both reports.

Putin sparked rumors about his health after he appeared unsteady and fidgety during an Orthodox Easter service in Moscow in late April. A video taken from the event also showed the Russian president biting his lips amid the service. 

Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers a speech during a meeting of the Council of Legislators at the Federal Assembly in Saint Petersburg Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers a speech during a meeting of the Council of Legislators at the Federal Assembly in Saint Petersburg, Russia April 27, 2022. Sputnik/Alexei Danichev/Kremlin via REUTERS Photo: Reuters / SPUTNIK