‘Terminally ill’ Putin’s death ‘imminent’ as ‘body doubles geared to step up’

Warmongering Vladimir Putin is knocking at death's door but his body double will rule in his stead, claims a controversial Telegram channel.

General SVR has long been pushing the line that Putin is not only unwell but terminally ill. Its latest alleged update on the Russian leader's health claims him kicking the bucket is now “imminent”. The same channel sensationally suggests doppelgängers are already being rolled out for public appearances.

Russian political analyst Dr Valery Solovey supports the damning theory, even speaking on camera to predict Putin's 71st birthday last Saturday will be his last. His death though, General SVR on Telegram says will be kept hidden from the world.

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Apparently the President's warring aides disagree on who should control the body doubles, who are lookalikes trained by his FSO secret service to become stand-ins for the ‘ailing’ leader. While Putin, 71, has not nominated an heir, the "main contender for seizing power” is his top security aide and former FSB chief Nikolai Patrushev, 72, a hardline war-monger.

“The attending doctors predict Putin's imminent death amid a sharp deterioration in his health,” posted the Telegram channel. “In the inner circle of Russian President Vladimir Putin, a fuss began with an attempt to create a consensus around the idea of the continuation of the existence of the Putin regime after Putin."

The channel continued: “There is a general understanding that for some time it is possible to use a double of the president after the death or removal from power of the real Vladimir Putin. Almost all interested parties are ready to rally around a double who can be controlled. The only problem is who will control the double, and this requires mutual trust, which simply does not exist.”

According to this version for which the channel gives no hard proof Putin’s friends favour Patrushev, who earlier angled for his agriculture minister son Dmitry Patrushev, 45, to be the long-term successor.

The unknown factor is the position of the “security bloc” which may not want Patrushev senior. Some big players are seeking “guarantees” on their future under a new regime.

The constitutional position is that if Putin dies in office, he is replaced for three months by the prime minister, colourless technocrat Mikhail Mishustin, 57, who would become acting president.

“Putin himself refused to leave any instructions or covenants on what to do after him, preferring to withdraw into himself, and perhaps deciding that the chaos after him is the best legacy,” said the channel.

“Be that as it may, the end will come very soon. Power in Russia in a crisis situation traditionally goes to the one who turns out to be the most daring.”

Patrushev – who knows the real state of Putin’s health – was one of a small group allowed to congratulate him on his 71st birthday, but he was too weak to open many presents, claimed the channel.

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