Vladimir Putin’s doctors were rushed to his bedside during the weekend after he complained of “severe nausea” in a late-night health scare, a report claimed.
The 69-year-old Russian president required “urgent medical care” which forced his paramedic team to call additional doctors for a medical emergency lasting about three hours, the hugely popular Russian Telegram channel General SVR claimed.
“Putin on the night of Friday July 22 to Saturday July 23 needed urgent medical care,” said the channel. “At about 1am, the medical workers on duty at [his] residence were summoned to the president.”
“Putin complained of severe nausea.
“Twenty minutes later, an additional team of doctors with the president’s attending physicians was called,” the channel further said.
Mr Putin’s condition reportedly improved after medical assistance.
The Independent could not verify the claims made by the Telegram channel, which is purportedly run by a former Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) lieutenant general, using the pseudonym “Viktor Mikhailovich”.
The channel also claimed that in the coming weeks Mr Putin “will be replaced by a double” and even that deep-fake technology could be used for upcoming events.
Speculation of Mr Putin suffering ailments has only intensified since Russia invaded Ukraine. A number of public appearances and official meetings some months back showed the president puffy faced, shaking and unsteady on his feet.
The strongman leader, who turns 70 later this year, had sparked rumours of his ill-health when he was pictured coughing and huddled under a blanket at Russia’s Victory Day parade in May.
The latest claims of his ill health come on the heels of CIA chief William Burns dismissing speculation last week that the Russian leader is suffering from cancer or Parkinson’s disease.
Speaking at the Aspen Security Forum in Colorado, Mr Burns said: “There are lots of rumours about President Putin’s health and as far as we can tell he’s entirely too healthy.”
Separately, the Kremlin also said on Thursday that Mr Putin was in good health, dismissing what it called false reports he was unwell.
“Everything is fine with his health,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in reply to a question at his daily briefing.
“You know that Ukrainian information specialists, and American and British ones, have been throwing out various fakes about the state of the president’s health in recent months – these are nothing but fakes,” he added.
On a rare foreign trip, Mr Putin visited Iran to meet Turkish and Iranian leaders on 19 July. This was his second visit outside Russia since the Ukraine invasion.
He met Iran’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei and Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan for a summit where Eurasian and Middle East powers discussed the ongoing war in Syria, a possible mechanism for exporting eastern European grain through Black Sea battle lines and other regional security matters.
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