Foreign Intelligence Service of Ukraine on “Putin Illness and Power Transit in Russia”

Foreign Intelligence Service of Ukraine on “Putin Illness and Power Transit in Russia”


"According to the baseline scenario in the medium term, the state model of 'Putinism' with or without Vladimir Putin will be kept in Russia," says the document that assesses the threat to Ukraine's security allegedly posed by Russia.

In general, rumors that the Russian President is experiencing certain "health issues," because of which he might even leave the presidency in the near future, appeared beginning to actively spread around the middle of last year.

Valery Solovey, a well-known Russian political scientist and doctor of historical sciences, was one of those who actively pushed this on the media scene. With all due respect to Dr. Solovey, he does not provide any specific arguments in favor of this version referring only to some information from “insiders”. Meanwhile, over the past six months, the topic has become considerably more popular. First, other prominent speakers like Yuri Shvets, Vladimir Putin's former fellow student at the KGB [the State Security] school, and other experts have joined the discussion. Later, even the major Western media outlets also voiced their opinion on that.

Some time ago, the talk about the Russian President’s health problems became so sweeping that they were noticed in the Kremlin. Dmitri Peskov, the head of the President's press service, even had to comment on this issue. He said that Vladimir Putin was healthy and was not going to resign. Incidentally, in recent weeks, this issue is being mentioned less and less frequently, especially since Vladimir Putin has been noticeably more active deliberately demonstrating his willingness to visit important political and social events. Moreover, previously, the Russian President has repeatedly underlined his readiness not just to stay in power until 2024 and, on top of that, to keep it under full or partial control afterwards. The initiatives to "reset" presidential terms to zero, the formation of the State Council, and the redistribution of power among the key state agencies in Russia are also evidence of that.

Anyway, the issue remains acute. The Foreign Intelligence Service of Ukraine recently decided to join this discussion. On January 24, the intelligence service published the so-called White Book, a sort of background or program document with the positions on the key issues, analysis of the processes and forecasts for the foreseeable future.

In this document, among other things, in the column entitled "Threats Emanating from the Russian Federation," the service says bluntly that Vladimir Putin does have health issues. In addition, the authors of the report say that for Putin, it is difficult to perform his presidential duties in terms of his health conations.

"Against the background of Vladimir Putin's increasingly obvious health-related problems and the fact that it is notably difficult for him to perform the public duties of the head of state in terms of health conditions, in fact, Russia has begun the process of power transit.

There are several scenarios for it such as Putin in the capacity of Russia’s President for life, Putin as leader of the nation, Putin as a tandem, and Putin's successor. Regardless of which one will be chosen for the change of power, according to the baseline scenario in the medium term, the state model of 'Putinism' with or without Vladimir Putin will stay on in Russia," says the document where the threat to Ukraine's security allegedly posed by Russia is assessed.

In general, the analysts of Ukraine's Foreign Intelligence Service try to use relatively clear terminology in their judgments. The report also contains the potential goals that the Russian leadership might set for keeping Ukraine “in Moscow's sphere of influence.” However, one can see even with the naked eye that the intelligence services draw up their conclusions about Putin's health status and political future only on the basis of data available in open sources rather on the basis of sophisticated analytics. In fact, the Foreign Intelligence Service of Ukraine quotes the claims by a number of well-known political analysts and publications that have previously made relevant statements.

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