Vladimir Putin, the President of Russia and architect of the war in Ukraine, is only still in public life because of Western cancer drugs that are helping him battle prostate and pancreatic cancers, as well as Parkinson's disease.
Russian historian and political analyst Valery Solovy spoke to Ukrainian media, telling them, "I can say that without this [foreign] treatment he would definitely not have been in public life in the Russian Federation. He uses the most advanced treatments, [and] target therapy which Russia cannot provide him with."
As proof of his ill health, commentators point to the hasty cancellation of a visit to UralVagonZavod, one of the largest tank manufacturers in the city of Nizhny Tagil. The streets had been cleared of snow, traffic was restricted, and the Christmas tree installation was delayed, all in anticipation of Putin’s arrival in the city to tour the factory. The visit was canceled at the last minute without explanation.
Other reports of Putin falling down stairs, soiling himself, and other indications that his health is seriously failing have been reported in recent months.
Putin, now 70 years old, has been part of the Russian government since his youth. He spent 16 years as a KGB agent before resigning to become a politician. He was the director of the FSB (Federal Security Service) and Secretary of the Security Council of Russia. He became Prime Minister in 1999. After Boris Yelstin resigned, Putin became acting President of Russia. Four months later, he was elected to the spot he's held ever since. He relinquished the President's seat for a few years, but remained Prime Minister. He reclaimed the seat in 2012 and has held it since.
In 2021, Putin signed into law some constitutional amendments, one of which let him run for office two more times, allowing him to be President until 2036, at which time Putin would be 84.
Putin has allegedly amassed a huge fortune as President. Officially, he claims he only makes $140,000 a year and owns a small apartment and a dacha (summer house). Unofficially, and in the estimation of many observers, Vladimir Putin is the richest man on earth, with a personal wealth of over $200 billion. His fortune has been gathered from the Russian people, as well as stolen items and wealth from the many places he has attacked over the years. His business contacts with Russia’s vast oil wealth has also lined his pockets with bribes and graft.
Putin has two adult daughters with his ex-wife, as well as one rumored daughter from his girlfriend and another with a mistress. Putin has worked hard to keep the world from knowing about his family and keeps his children and his personal life very secret.
The world is today on death watch with Putin apparently being very ill, but this is not the first time a Russian leader has been rumored to be at death’s door, then survived for decades to lead this nation of 143 million souls.
Image by Kremlin.ru, CC BY 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=120810728
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