Putin forced to call up mercenaries as Russian invasion stalls
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Rear Admiral Chris Parry – a now retired Falklands veteran – suggested that the possible illness might explain some of his recent actions, including his “hurry” to assume control of Ukraine. It comes as a Pentagon source reportedly claimed Putin was suffering from “terminal bowel cancer”.
Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine eleven days ago, questions have been asked about Putin’s reasoning for starting the conflict and the tactics that have been employed against Ukraine.
Putin’s men have been accused by Western leaders of indiscriminately targeting civilians, and as a result Russia has been referred to the International Criminal Court for potential war crimes.
The Russian President also put his country’s nuclear deterrent on “special alert”, which the US described as an “unacceptable escalation”.
Despite his claim yesterday (Sunday) that the military intervention in Ukraine was going to plan, reports suggest that the Russian military was woefully underprepared for the invasion, and has struggled with supply lines and communication since entering Ukraine.
Last week, a supposed Russian security services whistleblower wrote that the operation had been an organisational “clusterf***” since the start.
The FSB source – whose despairing account was confirmed to Bellingcat journalist Christo Grozev by other intelligence sources – added: “The Blitzkrieg failed. It’s entirely impossible to complete the job at this point.”
On Friday evening, Rear Admiral Parry reportedly noted that Putin had been “using these very long tables to interview people”.
According to the Portsmouth News, he told schoolchildren at Portsmouth Grammar School: “I think his immune system might be suppressed at the moment. So he is a man in a hurry.”
Putin has met several world leaders in recent days, including Emmanuel Macron and Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, who have tried to reason with him over the invasion.
Pictures of his meeting with the French President show him sitting at the opposite end of a long table.
Rear Admiral Parry speculation suggests this could be less of a power play and more an attempt to avoid catching a debilitating illness, as cases and deaths due to coronavirus remain high in Russia.
On Saturday, a US intelligence source corroborated Rear Admiral Parry’s assertion, suggesting Putin’s “puffy face” was a sign he was undergoing treatment for terminal bowel cancer.
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The Pentagon source told the Daily Star: “Our people are confident he is ill – he is concerned about Covid as he keeps his staff at a distance.”
They added: “In the past we have seen him smile, but in 2022 there are few pictures of him looking happy.
“His look suggests he is in pain and our people suggest his angry look is most likely as a result of him being in agony.”
Meanwhile, medical doctor Lord Owen said that he did not believe the puffy face was due to cosmetic surgery, and instead believed he was taking steroids.
At present, the Kremlin has not suggested Putin is suffering from illness.
Putin’s health fears could explain why he was so eager to attack Ukraine without warrant or provocation, despite Russian forces being underprepared, as the 69-year-old may want to ensure a lasting legacy.
Now a pariah on the world stage and the cause of crippling sanctions to the Russian economy – as well as a stalled military operation – Putin’s rashness may leave that legacy in tatters.
Rear Admiral Parry said he believed that Moldova – like Ukraine a former Soviet country, which is also not part of NATO – will be next on Putin’s list of targets.
He speculated that his forces will eventually occupy a region to the east of the Dnieper River, which runs through Kyiv, as well as the southern part of Ukraine on the Black Sea which will be called “New Russia”.
The Royal Navy veteran believed, though, that at this stage he would leave the north-west of the country “to its own devices as long as it stays neutral”.
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