Has Putin Named His Successor? What We Know

Secrecy surrounding Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin has fertilized misinformation surrounding the Russian president, from the state of his well being to the claims of physique doubles employed to guard him.

His well being was mentioned to have taken a very sharp flip lately, with claims this week once more circulating that Putin was dying and had used doppelgangers in an try to disguise his ailing situation.

Headlines appeared in a number of distinguished shops on-line that his physician had predicted “Putin’s imminent loss of life amid a pointy deterioration in his well being.”

The declare was from Basic SVR, a Telegram channel that has had a number of tales about Putin’s well being and his grip on energy, usually attributed to nameless sources with out verifiable info.

Russian President Vladimir Putin in the course of the Commonwealth of Unbiased States’ Head of States Assembly on the Ala-Archa State Residence on October 13, 2023, in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. A number of media shops reported that Putin’s well being had deteriorated so severely that officers had been discussing successors.
Contributor/Getty Pictures

“‘There’s a common understanding that for a while it has been potential to make use of a double of the president after the loss of life or removing from energy of the actual Vladimir Putin,” Basic SVR mentioned.

“Virtually all events are able to rally round a double who may be managed; the one drawback is who will management the double, and this requires mutual belief, which merely doesn’t exist.”

The Telegram channel claimed Putin’s “inside circle” had tried to create a consensus across the concept of the “continuation of the Putin regime after Putin,” speculating that Secretary of the Safety Council of the Russian Federation Nikolai Patrushev was being ready to change into chief.

In a later put up, Basic SVR mentioned it was Putin’s want that Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin take over however that Patrushev was the favored candidate by Russia’s different high officers.

A lot of the hypothesis about Putin’s well being till now has been based mostly on video footage of him sitting or shifting awkwardly, which some have attributed to a spread of diseases from terminal most cancers to Parkinson’s.

Among the rumors have been strengthened, if not proved, by different maybe extra dependable sources. Three intelligence leaders advised Newsweek in July final 12 months {that a} labeled U.S. report mentioned Putin had undergone remedy in April 2022 for superior most cancers.

The identical 12 months, The Moscow Instances cited an investigative report by Proekt Media that mentioned Putin was accompanied by medical doctors, together with a thyroid most cancers surgeon, on journeys to his residence in Sochi from 2016 to 2019 and that medical doctors “might have carried out surgical procedure” on him in November 2016.

Nevertheless, the latest report that Putin is at loss of life’s door, with succession plans in movement, has not been corroborated by different sources and was posted with none verifiable proof.

Whereas it is unlikely that the Kremlin would volunteer details about Putin’s well being if he had been struggling, the dearth of first rate knowledge or proof to help Basic SVR’s claims, notably given its monitor document for these sorts of rumors, strongly suggests this newest story ought to be handled with skepticism.

Different unevidenced claims that Basic SVR has shared included how final 12 months Putin fell down a flight of stairs and dirty himself, that he confronted an assassination try in Moscow, and that he was because of endure emergency colon surgical procedure in December.

Newsweek has reached out to the Kremlin for remark.