- Former MI6 head Sir Richard Dearlove said Wednesday Putin could be out of power by next year.
- He said Putin will likely enter a long-term medical facility and not return to power once he is out.
- His predictions line up with other reports of Putin losing power and receiving medical treatment.
The former head of British intelligence predicted Russian President Vladimir Putin will be out of power by next year and in a medical facility for long-term illness.
Sir Richard Dearlove was head of the UK's Secret Intelligence Service, also known as MI6, from 1999 to 2004. He made the predictions about Putin on Wednesday during an episode of the podcast One Decision, which he co-hosts.
"I'm really going to stick my neck out. I think he'll be gone by 2023. But probably into the sanatorium, from which he will not emerge as the leader of Russia," he said, adding that the sanatorium would be a way to move Putin out of power without a coup.
Dearlove's prediction is in step with other recent reports suggesting Putin is ill and could soon lose power.
—onedecisionpodcast (@onedecisionpod) May 22, 2022
Bellingcat's Christo Grozev, an expert on Russian security, said last week top Kremlin security officials believe the war in Ukraine is "lost" and that Putin is losing his grip on power.
Ukraine military intelligence chief Maj. Gen. Kyrylo Budanov told Sky News last week Putin was in "a very bad psychological and physical condition and he is very sick." Budanov also said he was "optimistic" Ukraine would prevail and that the war would be "over by the end of the year."
Former British spy Christopher Steele recently said sources told him Putin is seriously ill and regularly leaves meetings for medical treatment, contributing to "increasing disarray in the Kremlin." Steele, who led MI6's Russia desk for years, compiled the infamous Trump-Russia dossier, much of which was discredited.
The state of Putin's health cannot be confirmed, though his rumored conditions include ailments like dementia, Parkinson's disease, and blood cancer.
Dearlove also said there is no succession plan in Russian leadership, but said if Putin did enter a medical facility, the most likely person to step up is Nikolai Patrushev, the secretary of the Security Council of Russia.