Vladimir Putin has ‘successful’ cancer surgery as Kremlin ‘deepfakes’ media appearance – World News | #government | #hacking | #cyberattack


Vladimir Putin underwent “successful” surgery for cancer last week as the Kremlin used “deepfake” technology to pretend he was still working, it has been claimed.

This followed his medics insisting the operation was essential, according to opposition Telegram channel General SVR which has regularly claimed inside knowledge of the Kremlin’s leader’s supposed health problems.

There was a problem in his post-surgical recovery on Friday night when his condition worsened before improving, it was alleged.

Putin’s media appearances last Tuesday were pre-recorded, claimed the channel, giving more detail on earlier claims it made on use of “canned” footage to make it seem he was at his desk.

Trusted aide Nikolai Patrushev – a former FSB counter intelligence service chief and now security of Putin’s security council – is said to be in effective control, holding the Kremlin reins.

The Kremlin leader’s appearances were pre-staged, the Telegram channel claims
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The Kremlin has not commented on the alleged surgery but routinely insists Putin is in robust health, denying medical problems, and the General SVR claims could not be immediately verified.

“On the night of Monday May 16 to Tuesday May 17, Russian President Vladimir Putin underwent a surgical operation,” stated the channel in its latest post.

“The fact that Putin should be operated on as soon as possible was insisted upon by his attending physicians.

“According to the doctors involved in the treatment of the President, the operation was successful.

“We have already talked about the fact that Putin was personally absent from the information space from May 17 to May 19 and was not available even to his inner circle, with the exception of Nikolai Patrushev, Secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation.

“From May 17 to May 19, ‘canned’, pre-recorded meetings and messages were posted in the information space, and Putin personally held two telephone conversations during this time.”

Putin spent decades crafting an image of virulent masculinity
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Putin was seen on Friday apparently chairing a meeting of his security council, the body overseeing the war in Ukraine.

But General SVR said “the president’s speech was recorded in advance, and Putin’s participation in video format was supported using Deepfake technology, as was the case the week before”.

“In reality, on May 20, Putin was still too weak to take part in lengthy meetings and had two short video calls.

“On May 20, in the evening, Putin’s health deteriorated and stabilised only on the morning of Saturday, May 21.

“The attending physicians recommend that Putin rest in the coming days and urge him to refuse personal participation in meetings.”

It claimed that Putin’s close ally, Belarus dictator, Alexander Lukashenko is taking part in a smokescreen, evidently arriving in Russia on a trip that is scheduled to include a meeting with the Kremlin leader today (MON).

A view from damaged sites amid Russian attacks in Mariupol, Ukraine on May 21
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Lukashenko was seen in Black Sea resort Sochi.

The Minsk autocrat is “one of the few people” who “knows the real state of affairs with Putin’s health”.

It is claimed earlier Lukashenko meetings were intended to show Putin was fit when, in fact, he had health problems.

If true, the surgery came soon after Putin a week ago hosted a session of ex-Soviet republic leaders at a session of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation in the Kremlin.

General SVR has claimed for some weeks that Putin was due to have surgery, alleging abdominal cancer.

Other sources have suggested thyroid or blood cancer.

Vladimir Putin is “constantly” accompanied by a doctor specialising in thyroid cancer, according to an investigation by opposition outlet Proekt.

Surgeon Yevgeny Selivanov, of Moscow’s Central Clinical Hospital, a thyroid cancer specialist, is reported to be constantly at Putin’s side.

General SVR had previously predicted that Putin had been ordered by doctors to undergo surgery related to a cancer condition at around this time, and had forecast his temporary disappearance despite the war in Ukraine.

It asserted key figures believe Putin to be terminally ill which has altered the dynamic in Russia.

Face to face meetings with Rostech head Sergei Chemezovand Rosatom chief Alexey Likhachev were said to have taken place on Wednesday and Thursday but these were said to have taken place earlier and been saved to give the impression Putin was active.

He also seemingly held video calls on Friday with governor of Sverdlovsk region Evgeny Kuyvashev and governor of Kaliningrad region Anton Alikhanov, which are now seen as having taken place earlier.

General SVR later said the security council session on Friday was also staged.

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko enters the hall during Russian-Belarussian talks in Russia in 2019
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In a speech apparently made at the start of the council, which the channel said was staged, Putin claimed the West was seeking to hack key Russian government websites.

There were no verified appearances of Putin at the weekend, but he is due to see Lukashenko, his closest foreign ally, today.

Only Patrushev – secretary of the security council and a hardline pro-war Putin ally – is currently maintaining official communications with the president, said the channel.

“Let’s see how long this lasts, but the situation is getting tense,” said General SVR.

“The fact is that the elites are not ready to perceive Patrushev as a person who guarantees the current status quo.

“Everyone is well aware that if Vladimir Putin retires suddenly or gradually, then the situation will change radically.”

Putin “is sick and has diseases that are incurable, such as oncology, which is at a stage that, today, cannot be cured, Parkinson’s disease and a schizoaffective disorder.”

The Russian leader “is certainly receiving the most advanced, most innovative treatment, and he has the ability to prolong his life, there is no doubt about it”.

But it was unclear when his condition might deteriorate.

“There is a general feeling, including among the attending physicians, that all this will not last very long,” said the post.

“But, again, we have already said that many people think that now Putin will die and something will change radically.”

There are people in the government ready to “sabotage” attempts for a continuation of Putin’s repressive style of government after he is forced to leave.

Victory of Ukraine in the war would trigger this process.

“There are people [ in positions of power] who are ready to help big changes,” said the post.

This could include the release of “political prisoners” like Putin foes Alexei Navalny.

“Everyone in the elite is well aware of what the death of the president will lead to.

“There will be a big redistribution, there are no guarantees for either the servicemen or any of the security forces. Simply not.”

The anti-Putin channel’s regular claims on his medical problems are supposedly based on “intelligence” from an exiled Kremlin lieutenant-general insider who is known by the alias Viktor Mikhailovich.

Recently it claimed Putin has undergone removal of fluid from the abdomen, which might indicate serious medical problems, but there was no official confirmation.

The channel is also seen as linked to political analyst Professor Valery Solovey – who has claimed detailed knowledge of Putin’s supposed health problems.

Solovey – who boasts secret sources in the Kremlin – said in an interview with Zhivoi Gvozd youtube channel: “It is an undeniable fact that [Putin] has a whole bunch of quite serious diseases.”

US filmmaker Oliver Stone, who spent many hours with Putin making documentaries on him, alleged in recent days that the Kremlin leader has suffered cancer in the past, which he had “licked”.

If true, the Kremlin has not admitted Putin’s cancer.

Ex-MI6 director Sir Richard Dearlove has predicted Putin faces being sent to a sanatorium, and will be gone by 2023.

Other Western sources have become convinced recently that warmonger Putin is suffering significant health problems.

Putin – who will be 70 in October – recently failed to take part in an annual ice hockey match that is normally a regular fixture in his diary.

Last year he had said of playing ice hockey: “You extend your life, you make it of better quality and deeper meaning.”

The channel said: “The victory over the Putin regime will bring not only peace, but also the prosperity of Russia, therefore, paradoxically… victory of Ukraine will lead to the collapse of the Putin regime, and, accordingly, to the liberation of Russia [and] all citizens of the Russian Federation who …ready to live freely and develop without any restrictions from this criminal regime.”

In the online security council session, Putin was shown complaining that Russia was under attack from Western hackers.

“Since the special military operation in Donbas and Ukraine… Russia has essentially become the target of aggression, of an information war,” he said.

“The number of cyber-attacks, including complex attacks, has multiplied.

“Experts believe it would not be possible for lone hackers to achieve that.

“Hackers attack from different countries in a well-coordinated effort…conducted by state-run structures…

“We know that the armies of some countries officially include cyber-troops.

“Targeted attempts to disable online resources of critical information infrastructure in Russia have been detected.

Media outlets, financial institutions and widely used public websites and networks have been hit the hardest

“Official government websites have been subjected to serious attacks.

“Attempts to hack into corporate networks of major Russian companies are detected substantially more often.”

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