CIA Director William Burns threw cold water on theories swirling regarding the health of Russian President Vladimir Putin, saying that Moscow’s leader is “entirely too healthy” and not suffering from any major illness.
Burns, who made the comment while speaking at the Aspen Security Summit, noted that it was “not a formal intelligence judgement.” Even so, his opinion as the CIA director carries significant weight and meaning, and could dampen hopes of Putin’s adversaries that he is a dying man.
“There are lots of rumors about President Putin’s health and as far as we can tell, he’s entirely too healthy,” Burns stated.
The CIA director also said that Putin is “a big believer in control, intimidation and getting even” and that these traits have become hardened in the past decade as his circle of confidants has grown ever smaller.
“He is convinced that his destiny as Russia’s leader is to restore Russia as a great power,” he said. “He believes the key to doing that is to recreate a sphere of influence in Russia’s neighborhood and he cannot do that without controlling Ukraine.”
Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Thursday that all the talk about Putin’s deteriorating health condition is fake news.
“In recent months, Ukrainian, American and British so-called information specialists have thrown around various fakes about the health of the president. But it is nothing but fakes,” Peskov said.
(YWN World Headquarters – NYC)