Moscow (Times Of Ocean)- In four years, Russian president Vladimir Putin was visited by a cancer surgeon 35 times at his Black Sea residence, according to an investigation.
Russia’s investigative group claims that Putin is served by a brigade of doctors. As Putin approaches his 70th birthday, he is attended to by a team of doctors including Yevgeny Selivanov, an oncology surgeon who specializes in thyroid cancer, according to Proyekt, a Russian investigative journalism group.
Putin’s Kremlin denied Friday that he had undergone thyroid cancer surgery after an investigative report raised concerns over a presidential hospital surgeon’s frequent visits to his Black Sea residence.
Putin had accompanied many doctors, including one who specializes in thyroid cancer, to his residence in the resort city of Sochi from 2016-2019, according to the report.
An investigation by Russian investigative outlet Proekt matched dates of Putin’s official visits to Sochi or unexplained disappearances to local hotel accommodation contracts published on the government procurement website. Putin was accompanied by an average of five doctors in 2016-17 and nine doctors in 2019 it said.
“Over the course of Putin’s 23-year rule, the country doesn’t know a word of truth about the physical and emotional condition of the person ruling over it,” Proekt editor-in-chief Roman Badanin said in a video.
“We can affirm that by his current presidential term, the Russian leader is not in good health,” Badanin said.
A group of doctors, nurses, and executives from the presidential hospital may have “performed surgery” on Putin in November 2016, according to Proekt’s investigation. At least two of these individuals were reportedly promoted and awarded later on.
Proekt reported that a “reinforced group” of presidential hospital neurosurgeons and other staff has joined Putin to treat “a probable relapse of his trauma” in late November 2019.
“A serious manipulation is performed on a man with the nuclear button while we’re told he’s healthy,” Badanin said.
According to Proekt, a surgeon specializing in thyroid cancer spent 166 days in Sochi between 2016 and 2019. Except for an ear, nose, and throat doctor who spent 282 days at the hospital, this was the longest period spent by a doctor at the presidential hospital.
Proekt’s report did not mention whether Putin had been diagnosed with cancer or any other illness.
Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin spokesman, denied reports that Putin, 69, had thyroid cancer surgeries.
Veteran journalist Alexei Venediktov quoted Peskov on his Telegram channel as saying, “Fact and fiction.”
“Am I understanding correctly that Vladimir Putin doesn’t have cancer?” Venediktov followed up.
“Correct,” Peskov responded.