This is speculation, of course, but has some decent sourcing. This is an important issue if Putin is ill. It affects US foreign and domestic policy and of course, our economy.
Is Putin Sick – Or Are We Meant to Think He Is?
An oligarch close to the Kremlin was recorded on a tape saying the president is ‘very ill with blood cancer.’ Is this true, idle speculation or disinformation designed to make an erratic and paranoid dictator vulnerable?
“There is no way to know for sure from the outside, but there are two consistencies in evaluating the Kremlin,” said John Sipher, a former CIA officer specializing in Russia. “Their instinct is to lie and spread disinformation on the one hand, and so this chatter may be an effort to deflect attention. Or, equally likely, we are seeing flashes of elite infighting. Putin has long acted as the de facto mafia boss of the Kremlin, the arbiter between those fighting for influence or money. Those clans are now positioning themselves to survive no matter how this crisis ends. Leaking Putin’s health crisis — or inventing one — would be one to gain leverage.”