Vladimir Putin is believed to have taken complete control of Russian forces in Ukraine, while displaying increasingly erratic and desperate behavior.
The Russian president is believed to be making ‘impossible demands’ on troops in an attempt to ensure success before Victory Day in Russia.
The national holiday, which falls on May 9, commemorates the day Russian forces defeated Nazi Germany in World War II.
It is a day full of military parades and nationalism, and many believe Putin will use the day to glorify himself as Russia’s leader and frame the invasion of Ukraine as a success.
Prior to May 9, Putin is believed to have taken on the “day-to-day” conduct of the invasion and left the leadership of Russia to his prime minister Mikhail Mishustin, sources close to the Kremlin have said.
He is said to have demanded troops take control of Kryvyi Rih – where Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was born – according to a report by the General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces.
However, seizing the large city in central Ukraine represents a huge task for Russian forces, which have already lost nearly 25,000 soldiers in bloody fighting in Ukraine.
Putin’s increasingly desperate behavior comes as speculation about his health and suitability to lead is called into question.
There have been various reports that the 69-year-old leader suffering from cancer may have Parkinson’s disease or a mental illness that affects his ability to manage.
The Kremlin has always vehemently denied that Putin is ill, but critics claim that footage of the president looking bloated, sunk in chairs and disappearing for long periods proves otherwise.
A former KGB agent who jumped off to the West has said members of Putin’s inner circle can be kept in the dark about his physical condition.
Boris Karpichkov, a former KBG agent who jumped out of Russia, told The Sun that Putin was ‘crazy’ and about to be ‘obsessed with paranoid ideas’.
“He sees literally everyone, including those in the Russian security services and even in his close inner circle, as ‘traitors,'” he said.
Putin may be keeping his loved ones unaware of his health problems in order to preserve his image, Karpichkov added.
“He is so suspicious and so obsessed with his paranoia ideas that he can now be compared to the Stalin tyrant,” he said.
“I’m not a doctor myself … but there is a serious concern that Putin is suffering from several physical health conditions – possibly from the sports injuries in his younger years.
“This is along with some problems that affect older people – such as dementia in the early stages.”
Stalin’s last year was marked by paranoia and mistrust.
He had one of his doctors jailed after he suggested the dictator should retire from political life to try to improve his health.
There have been reports that Putin has also begun questioning doctors, particularly Professor Valery Solovey, over allegations about the president’s physical and mental health.
The president is reportedly undergoing surgery to treat cancer within the next few weeks.
The popular Telegram channel General SVR reported on Saturday that the president may be forced to relinquish control of the war while he is in treatment.
Putin has reportedly already delayed the operation, which was scheduled for the second half of April.
But his doctors have insisted that it should happen ‘in the near future’, as ‘the course of the disease progresses’, according to General SVR, which claims to have a well-located source in Moscow.
The General SVR reported that Putin had abdominal cancer and Parkinson’s 18 months ago.
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