Ukraine War, June 2, 2022 (II): Putin reportedly suffering from advanced cancer according to U.S. intelligence report

Developing. We are publishing this article as it is being written. Please check back for updates.

To see a list of previous articles, enter “Ukraine” in the Search Box on the upper right, on The Trenchant Observer web site, and you will see a list in chronological order.

Dispatches

1) Will Stewart (Russia Correspondent), “Moscow hospital on standby with Vladimir Putin ‘suffering from pancreatic cancer’; Ex-Soviet and now Israeli journalist Mark Kotlyarsky claimed Vladimir Putin’s cancer diagnosis was confirmed to him by both Kremlin and medical informers in Moscow – it is claimed the Kremlin leader had an aggressive tumour, The Mirror, June 2, 2022 (15:56);

2) Alahna Kindred and Sophie Collins, “Vladimir Putin had cancer treatment in April and end is near, classified US report says; ‘Putin’s grip is strong but no longer absolute,'” Irish Mirror, June 2, 2022 (22:56);

3) William R. Arkin, “Exclusive: Putin Treated for Cancer in April, U.S. Intelligence Report Says,” Irish Mirror, June 2, 2022 (5:00 am EDT);

4) William M. Arkin, “Exclusive: Putin Treated for Cancer in April, U.S. Intelligence Report Says,” Newsweek, June 2, 2022 (5:00 am EDT);

5) John Ward and David Clark, “Vladimir Putin ‘may already be DEAD and using a body double’, intelligence sources claim; The Russian leader’s death would be kept secret “for weeks, if not months” according to senior MI6 bosses amid increasing speculation that Putin is seriously (ill) and receiving cancer treatment, Irish Mirror, May 29, 2022 (20:25);

Analysis

There were a number of stories breaking today based on a classified U.S. intelligence report issued late last month which concluded that Vladimir Putin was suffering from a very aggressive and advanced cancer. A background briefing on the report may have been held on May 29, the date of Ward and Clark’s article.

The stories seemed to originate in the Daily Mirror in the U.K. and the Irish Mirror in Ireland. The story by William Arkin was simultaneously published in the Irish Mirror and Newsweek. Newsweek seems to be the only leading news organization in the U.S. to go with the story, though papers such as the New York Post also published articles.

This news is consistent with earlier statements by Christopher Steele, a former MI6 spy and official, and Sir Richard Dearlove, a former head of MI6.

One has the sense that the story was breaking in the U.K. and Ireland today, as further details were revealed during the course of the day, including reports that Putin was suffering from pancreatic cancer.

This is a huge story.

So how can we explain the failure of major U.S. and foreign newspapers to pick it up and run with it?

The Observer’s guess is that the reporters for the Irish Times attended a background briefing by intelligence officials which was supposed to be off the record and not for attribution, but that they then revealed information about their sources’ institutional affililiations that would allow them to be identified.

If this surmise is correct, leading newspapers may be treating the story like a hot potato because they don’t want to be seen as breaking the ground rules of the background briefing.

What seems clear us that the Biden administration wanted to leak details about Putin’s health, though not for attribution.

Whether these were the same officials who earlier leaked information on intelligence sharing with the Ukrainians is unknown, but would not come as a surprise.

Apparently there are officials in the White House who are more interested in fighting the war with Russia by leaks in the press than they are in getting heavy weapons to the front in the Donbas at the earliest possible moment.

The bottom line is that there seems to be some substance to the revelations,

The Trenchant Observer

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See also,

Only force can stop Putin

“Ukraine War, April 5, 2022 (II): Force must be used to stop Putin,” The Trenchant Observer, April 5, 2022.

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