Rumours have been swirling about Vladimir Putin’s health (Image: Kremlin.ru)
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Vladimir Putin has both cancer and Parkinson's disease symptoms, according to a political analyst.
Earlier this month Russian scientist and historian Professor Valery Solovei claimed that the country's leader had the degenerative disease.
Despite denials from the Kremlin, now Mr Solovei is claiming that Putin, 68, also has cancer and received emergency surgery in February.
The former head of the Public Relations Department at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations says he has Kremlin sources who have confirmed the information.
He is also claiming that Putin will step down from his position of power early next year.
The professor said Putin has cancer and Parkinson's
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“If anyone is interested in the exact diagnosis, I'm not a doctor, and I have no ethical right to reveal these problems," he said, The Sun reported.
”The second diagnosis is a lot, lot more dangerous than the first as Parkinson’s does not threaten physical state, but just limits public appearances.
“But there is a fatal diagnosis."
A separate Russian source has suggested that Putin received surgery for abdominal cancer.
Professor Solovei's claims will likely be disregarded by the Kremlin, whose favour he is certainly not in.
In September he was detained following a March in Moscow over the arrest of Sergei Furgal, a member of an opposition party.
Questions have been raised about Putin's longevity
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As well as predicting that Putin will stand down soon, Professor Solovei has tipped his daughter Katerina Tikhonova as a potential succesor.
The 34-year-old former dancer now spearheads a major new artificial intelligence initiative.
Former president Dmitry Medvedev, 55, and agriculture minister Dmitry Patrushev, 43, are also said to be among the frontrunners.
Earlier this month Professor Solovei claimed that Putin's gymnast lover Alina Kabaeva, as well as his daughters Maria Vorontsova and Tikhonova, were urging him to step down.
The Russian strongman came to power in 2000 and has kept an iron grip on the country ever since.
A video showing Putin's legs shaking while he held tightly to a chair had raised suspicions about his health.
"There is a family, it has a great influence on him," Professor Solovei said.
"He intends to make public his handover plans in January."
At the time of his first claims Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the media report based on Solovei's assertions was false.
"It's absolute nonsense," said Peskov.
"Everything is fine with the president."
Asked if Putin was planning to step down in the near future as Solovei had suggested, Peskov said: "No".