Russian President Vladimir Putin may be forced to relinquish control of the Ukrainian war for a few days while undergoing cancer surgery, and will reportedly appoint hardline former FSB chief Nikolai Patrushev to take temporary command of the invasion while he is under the knife, according to sources.
According to the Daily Mail, Patrushev, the 70-year-old incumbent Secretary of Russia's Security Council, is considered as a key architect of the war plan thus far, and the guy who convinced Putin that Kiev is rife with neo-Nazis. The accusations were made on the famous Telegram channel General SVR, whose source is said to be a well-placed official in the Kremlin, according to the article.
"I'm not sure how long it will last (Putin will be incapacitated after the surgery)... I believe it will only be for a short period of time," a person close to the situation was cited as saying.
Putin was "unlikely to consent to a transfer of authority," but he was willing to appoint a "charge d'affaires" to oversee Russia and the war effort. "So, while Putin has the surgery and returns to his senses, possibly in two or three days," the insider noted, "real control of the nation transfers exclusively to Patrushev."
According to the Daily Mail, such a move would be shocking because, according to the Russian constitution, authority should be vested only in the Prime Minister. Putin was diagnosed with stomach cancer and Parkinson's disease 18 months ago, according to General SVR.
He has allegedly postponed surgery, which will now take place after the Triumph Day celebration of Russia's World War II victory in Red Square on May 9, according to the Daily Mail. The report comes amid anticipation that Putin would declare all-out war on Ukraine and order the mass mobilisation of military-age males, posing a significant political risk.
The procedure was supposed to take place in the second part of April, but it was postponed, according to SVR. "Putin has been advised to have surgery, the date of which is being considered and agreed upon," the site said.
He also has "Parkinson's disease and schizoaffective disorder," which includes schizophrenia symptoms such as hallucinations and mania. The Kremlin has always fiercely denied Putin has medical difficulties and has portrayed him as being in good condition, even though he has been strangely missing in recent years, according to the Daily Mail.