There is growing speculation that Russian leader Vladimir Putin is possibly ill. However, this has yet to be confirmed.

According to the director of the CIA, William Burns, there is no intelligence to confirm this. He jokes that the 69-year-old appears to be healthy to be considered ill.

In all, the Kremlin has dismissed these unverified reports concerning health of Putin. He says that these are nothing more than fake news.

This developed not long after reports cropped up that the United States would be sending long-range weapons.

According to Russian Foreign Minister Sergel Lavrov, Russia’s military focus was no longer in the East, also implying that the strategy of Moscow changed after Ukraine was supplied with weapons from the West.

"There are lots of rumors about President Putin's health and as far as we can tell he's entirely too healthy," Burns stated.

"In recent months, Ukrainian, American and British so-called information 'specialists' have thrown around various fakes about the health of the president. But it is nothing but fakes," he added.

If there is a person who can properly assess and provide credible information, Burns would be the guy. He has served as ambassador to Moscow and has been observing Putin for more than two decades.

Further, the CIA chief added that Putin is a big believer in control, intimidation and getting even. These traits alone show in the advisers that he has been working within the past decade.

"He is convinced that his destiny as Russia's leader is to restore Russia as a great power. He believes the key to doing that is to recreate a sphere of influence in Russia's neighborhood and he cannot do that without controlling Ukraine."

In November, Burns went to Moscow and warned about the repercussions of invading Ukraine, especially following reports that the US had gathered intelligence about Russia’s plans.

"Putin really does believe his rhetoric. I've heard him say this privately over the years that Ukraine is not a real country,” Burns said. "Well, real countries fight back. And that's what the Ukrainians have done."

Vladimir Putin
Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers a video address to participants of the 10th Saint Petersburg International Legal Forum in Saint Petersburg on June 30, 2022. Photo by Mikhail Metzel/Sputnik/AFP via Getty Images

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