Putin allies fear health woes ONLY chance sick President will be ousted

Communist MP Dmitry Novikov says Russia is 'anti-war'

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Russian state TV is providing a platform for ever-more extreme support of the ongoing “special military operation”, with one guest recently hailing successes in what he termed the “holy war” in Ukraine against “satanists” and another insisting Russia was the leader of the “global anti-war movement”. Those hoping to challenge the Kremlin over its actions must, however, travel a much more difficult path.

In March, Russia’s parliament passed a law threatening those who intentionally spread “fake” news about the military with up to 15 years in jail.

Duma Chairman Vyacheslav Volodin insisted that anyone who “discredited our armed forces” deserves a “very tough punishment”.

Kremlin officials have also told Bloomberg that they feel unable to raise their concerns about the state of the ongoing war to Putin, not just because of the potential consequences but because they are sure there is “no chance” the President will change his mind.

But the lack of an outlet for people – including officials – to express their dissatisfaction with Putin does not mean such dissatisfaction does not exist.

News outlet Meduza reports frustration is rising not only among opponents of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but also among Putin’s allies.

It said “dissatisfaction among senior officials amounts to little but idle conversations in private”.

But a source close to the Prime Minister’s Cabinet insisted that because of the war: “It won’t be possible to live like before. Any talk of development is out the window.”

Some told Meduza that conversations among officials are increasingly turning to “the future after Putin”.

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Many are understood to be disappointed that “only a major health issue could drive the President from office”.

Putin’s health has been a topic surrounded by speculation since the beginning of the war in Ukraine.

Some reports have drawn attention to footage which appears to show the leader swollen-faced, gripping onto the arms of chairs while in meetings and distractedly rocking his feet.

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Others suggest he may be suffering from cancer, with many pointing to a type blood cancer in particular.

These reports have not been confirmed.

Analysts use the claims, however, to help explain Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine, which is in turn painted as a last-ditch effort to make a bold move in office.

The Kremlin has denied that he is ill.

This, if true, would leave those opposed to the war with little room for manoeuvre, according to Meduza.

It quoted a source close to the Government as stressing: “There’s probably almost nobody who’s happy with Putin. Businesspeople and many cabinet members are unhappy that the president started this war without thinking through the scale of the sanctions.

“Normal life under these sanctions is impossible.”

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