Wife of Russian oligarch scared by ill Putin – he wont care what happens next

The glam wife of a Russian oligarch is "frightened" over Vladimir Putin's rumoured ill-health because he may not care about the consequence of his actions.

Tatiana Fokina is married to the exiled Yevgeny Chichvarkin, the wealthy boss of a mobile phone business.

She now lives in London with Yevgeny and is rich in her own right as the CEO of a wine and spirits empire. She also runs a Michelin-starred restaurant.

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The couple have been outspoken against Putin since he launched the invasion of Ukraine on February 24 this year, but now she's expressed concerns over the rumours around his health.

The Russian President is thought to be suffering with cancer, Parkinson's disease or both, and western intelligence sources have claimed he's undergone surgery since the Ukraine conflict started.

Adding to the rumours, recent videos of Putin appear to show him either shaking or gripping onto tables. Others have claimed stable footage of the despot appears to be doctored.

Speaking on Paramount+ documentary Secrets of the Oligarch Wives, Tatiana said: "There are rumours that he is ill… and I think they're likely to be true, and if they are true… that makes me really frightened.

"Because a person who is really ill doesn't really care about what happens next."

The rumours gained more life back in April following a Proekt Media investigative report.

It claimed Putin had undergone surgery some years ago and that he was being accompanied by a team of doctors, including a thyroid cancer surgeon, on trips taken from 2016 to 2019.

In May Christopher Steele, who used to run the Russia desk at MI6, said similarly.

He told LBC: "He's constantly accompanied around the place by a team of doctors.

"Meetings of the security council that are shown to supposedly last for a whole hour are actually broken up into several sections, he goes out and receives some kind of medical treatment between those sections.

"So, clearly, he is seriously ill – how terminal or incurable it is is not clear, we can't be entirely sure."

Earlier this month Putin needed urgent medical attention after feeling a “sharp sickness, weakness and dizziness” while getting up from his desk, according to the General SVR Telegram channel.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov denied the rumours in an interview with French television station TF1 in May.

He said: "I don't think that sane people can see in this person signs of some kind of illness or ailment."

Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov also denied the rumours in an interview in March.

Also speaking on Secrets of the Oligarch Wives, financier and political activist Bill Browder somewhat cast doubt on the rumours but expressed similar sentiments to Tatiana.

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He said: "I think Putin is ill, but not in the way that most people think Putin is ill. Putin is mentally ill, but he's been mentally ill as a psychopath since childhood.

"Putin's illness leads him to lack any empathy, lack any conscience, lack any normal human emotion when it comes to the fate of other people. And that will lead him to all sorts of terrible crimes."


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