Christopher Steele, the spy behind the discredited 'pee tape' Trump dossier, says sources tell him Putin is seriously ill
- The former British spy Christopher Steele told Sky News that his sources say Putin is very ill.
- "It's part of the equation" in Putin's decision-making in Ukraine, Steele said.
- Steele compiled the infamous Trump-Russia dossier, much of which has been discredited.
The former British spy who wrote an infamous dossier about Donald Trump's dealings in Russia told Sky News on Sunday that sources had told him that Russian President Vladimir Putin is seriously ill.
Christopher Steele, who led MI6's Russia desk and worked as a spy in Moscow for years, told Sky News: "Certainly, from what we're hearing from sources in Russia and elsewhere, is that Putin is, in fact, quite seriously ill."
Claims about the 69-year-old leader's health have circulated for months. On Saturday, Ukraine's head of military intelligence, Maj. Gen. Kyrylo Budanov, told Sky that Putin is in a "very bad psychological and physical condition and he is very sick."
Budanov went on to suggest that the purported illness had incited plans within Russia for a coup .
In his interview with Sky, Steele suggested that Putin's health is "an element" of his decision-making in Ukraine.
"It's not clear exactly what this illness is — whether it's incurable or terminal, or whatever," he said. "But certainly, I think it's part of the equation."
On Thursday, New Lines Magazine said it had obtained a recording of a Russian oligarch saying Putin is " very ill with blood cancer ." New Lines said it verified the oligarch's identity but was unable to authenticate the claims in the recording.
It is all but impossible to confirm rumors about Putin's health, which describe a panoply of ailments. The Russian investigative news outlet Proekt said in early April that the leader had received dozens of visits from a thyroid-cancer specialist .
In early May, a former KGB agent, Boris Karpichkov, told The Sun , without citing sources, that "there is a serious concern that Putin is suffering from" ailments including dementia and Parkinson's disease.
Steele is the author of an intelligence dossier that made multiple claims about Trump, including that there exists a so-called pee tape of obscene material involving Trump in Russia before his political career.
No evidence of the tape has been found, and other aspects of the dossier's credibility have been questioned, CNN reported .
Steele worked under diplomatic cover as a spy in Moscow for three years in the '90s, and he was the chief of MI6's Russia desk from 2006 to 2009.Read the original article on Business Insider