KEY POINTS

  • A coup could be in motion to overthrow an alleged seriously ill Putin
  • A Russian oligarch said Putin underwent surgery for his back pains in October
  • Speculations about Putin's health resurfaced after he seemingly suffered hand and leg tremors while meeting Belarusian leader Lukashenko

Russian President Vladimir Putin may soon face a coup amid rumors that he is suffering from poor health, according to Ukraine’s head of military intelligence. 

Speaking in an interview with Sky News published Saturday, Maj. Gen. Kyrylo Budanov said a coup to overthrow Putin is already in motion in Russia as intelligence information suggests the Russian leader is seriously ill. 

"They are moving in this way and it is impossible to stop it," Budanov said in the interview. "[Putin is in a] very bad psychological and physical condition and he is very sick."

According to Ukraine's head of military intelligence, Putin has cancer among other illnesses. He also dismissed claims that he was spreading false information. 

"It's my job, it's my work, if not me who will know this?" he added.

Budanov's remarks come after a Russian oligarch was secretly recorded saying Putin was "very ill with blood cancer." The oligarch was heard claiming that Putin’s back pains were related to his blood cancer, adding that the Russian leader had undergone back surgery in October. 

The recording was obtained and first reported by New Lines magazine, which noted that the oligarch had no idea he was being recorded in mid-March. The publication said they were able to authenticate the oligarch’s identity, but said they refused to disclose his personal information to prevent state retaliation. Under Russian laws, a person can be imprisoned for up to 15 years for spreading what the Kremlin purports to be “fake news.”

The secret recording emerged as speculations about Putin’s health spread online after he appeared to be limping during his public appearance on Victory Day, which marked the anniversary of the Soviet Union’s victory against Nazi Germany in 1945. 

Putin, 69, was also seen coughing and covering his legs with a blanket during the military parade. He was sitting among a group of veterans who did not have blankets covering their laps. 

In late April, the Russian leader also appeared unsteady and fidgety during an Orthodox Easter service in Moscow. A video taken from the event showed him constantly biting his lips during the service. 

A separate resurfaced video also showed Putin suffering from hand and leg tremors as he welcomed Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko in mid-February, just days before he announced the invasion of Ukraine. The video sparked speculations that Putin may be suffering from Parkinson’s disease. 

International Business Times could not independently verify claims about Russian President Vladimir Putin's health or the authenticity of the recordings. 

Russian President Vladimir Putin tells a Victory Day parade in Moscow that he had no choice but to send troops into Ukraine to defend the Russian "motherland" from an "absolutely unacceptable threat Russian President Vladimir Putin tells a Victory Day parade in Moscow that he had no choice but to send troops into Ukraine to defend the Russian "motherland" from an "absolutely unacceptable threat" Photo: SPUTNIK via AFP / Mikhail METZEL