Russia's President Vladimir Putin has been dogged by rumours of ill health since he first invaded Ukraine in February.
During the last six months, it has been claimed that the despot has incurable cancer, multiple sclerosis or Parkinson's, and that he either has just three years to live – or that he is already dead.
But now insiders, on the often cited General SVR Telegram channel, are claiming that his health is so bad that he can no longer attend meetings and that his health is now “sharply deteriorating”.
READ MORE: Vladimir Putin 'sharply deteriorating' and 'can't attend meetings', say insiders
The insider claimed: “With a high degree of probability, we can say that soon the president will not be able to personally hold meetings and participate in large events."
They also claimed that this could now play a serious factor in the war and could eventually lead to Putin's downfall.
They added: “Various options were discussed, from the possibility of mobilising and using tactical nuclear weapons, to opening a second front in a third country, and, finally, to ‘gestures of good will’ with the return of the occupied territories of Kherson, Zaporizhzhia and Kharkiv regions to Ukraine.
“This would mark the beginning of the end for him”.
Nobody has been truly able to confirm the status of Putin's health as the Kremlin has repeatedly ignored media requests.
But a steady stream of insiders and former allies making similar claims has led the Western world to look at the news with a grain of truth.
Hitler wanted to invade UK seaside town and run Third Reich from £35 'sh**thole' hotel
The Genral SVR chat claimed, in June when he had to cancel a televised question and answer session: “The postponement of the live [Direct Line] with the President indefinitely is due to the unstable health of Vladimir Putin.
“A week ago, the president was preparing to answer the questions of the Russian citizens in late June-early July.
“But his doctors advised him not to make any lengthy public appearances in the near future.
“The latest argument in favour of not speaking to the public was an incident after a recent one-and-a-half hour video-link meeting with representatives of the military bloc…
“After the meeting Putin felt a sharp sickness, weakness and dizziness while trying to get up from the table.
“The President needed urgent medical assistance.”
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