A Kremlin insider has claimed that the Russian President may have to give up control of the war in a few days as he is set for cancer surgery, and he will nominate hardline former FSB chief Nikolai Patrushev to take temporary control of the invasion while he is under the knife.
Patrushev, a 70-year-old former Secretary of Russia's Security Council, is seen as a key architect of the war strategy so far, and the man who convinced Putin that Kiev is awash with neo-Nazis, according to a Daily Mail report.
The report said that the sources of the extraordinary claims appeared on the popular Telegram channel General SVR, which said it is a well-placed figure in the Kremlin.
The insider source said that I don't know how long Putin will be incapacitated after the surgery, but I think it'll be for a short time.
Putin was not sure if he would agree to transfer power but he was ready to put in place a charge d'affaires to control and the war effort.
The source said that while Putin has the operation and comes to his senses, there is only two or three days when the actual control of the country passes only to Patrushev.
According to the Daily Mail, such a move would be surprising as power would only pass to the Prime Minister under the Russian constitution.
According to General SVR, Putin had abdominal cancer and Parkinson's 18 months ago.
He has reportedly delayed surgery, which will now not take place before the Victory Day commemoration of Russia's World War Two victory in Red Square on May 9, Daily Mail reported.
The news comes amid speculation that Putin will launch an all-out war across and order mass mobilisation of military-age men, a political risk.
The surgery was scheduled for the second half of April but was delayed, SVR claimed.
Putin was recommended to undergo surgery, the date of which is being discussed and agreed, according to the outlet.
There seems to be no urgency, but it can't be delayed either. He also suffers from Parkinson's disease and schizoaffective disorder, which carries symptoms of schizophrenia, including hallucinations and mania.
The Kremlin has always denied Putin has medical problems, and portrays that he is in robust health, even though he has been mysteriously absent in recent years, according to the Daily Mail.
In a video detailing General SVR's claims, the outlet's source, supposedly an anonymous former Kremlin military figure, said Putin has discussed that he will be undergoing medical procedures.