Putin Is ‘Totally Too Wholesome,’ C.I.A. Director Says

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Western intelligence officers, in addition to the Kremlin, this week dismissed longstanding rumors that Vladimir V. Putin, the 69-year-old Russian president, is unwell.

Mr. Putin coughed throughout a speech in Moscow on Wednesday, main observers to lift considerations about his well being. His deliberate assembly that day with officers from South Ossetia was canceled, fueling hypothesis that he was sick. In June, when a video launched by state media confirmed him greedy a desk tightly, for a second too lengthy, many on social media had been satisfied that his well being was declining.

“There are many rumors about President Putin’s well being and so far as we are able to inform he’s totally too wholesome,” William J. Burns, director of the C.I.A., mentioned on the Aspen Safety Discussion board in Colorado on Wednesday.

Richard Moore, the pinnacle of MI6, the British international intelligence service, mentioned he agreed with the C.I.A. director’s evaluation: “There isn’t a proof that Putin is affected by critical sickness.”

The Kremlin additionally denounced the rumors on Wednesday as “nothing however fakes.”

Dmitri S. Peskov, the Kremlin’s spokesman, advised reporters that Mr. Putin was in good well being and blamed “info specialists” from Ukraine, the US and Britain for spreading rumors on the contrary.

Mr. Putin’s well being was the topic of conjecture even earlier than Russia invaded Ukraine in February. Unconfirmed rumors through the years have recognized the president — whose non-public life is basically shrouded in secrecy — with most cancers, Parkinson’s illness, dementia and paranoia.

The conflict has additionally spurred rumors concerning the well being of President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine.

On Thursday, a Ukrainian radio station broadcast a number of statements claiming that Mr. Zelensky, 44, was in intensive care and that Ruslan Stefanchuk, the speaker of the Ukrainian parliament, had assumed the presidency.

The house owners of the radio station later introduced that the station had been hacked.

Mr. Zelensky addressed the rumor in a video speech, calling it faux information unfold by Russia. He mentioned he was talking from his workplace and had by no means felt stronger.

“And, with all due respect to outdated age, 44 isn’t 70,” Mr. Zelensky mentioned. Mr. Putin will flip 70 in October.

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