Surgeon Yevgeny Selivanov, of Moscow’s Central Clinical Hospital, has flown to the Russian leader no less than 35 times in Black Sea resort Sochi, his favourite place of residence.
The respected doctor’s thesis – showing his area of medical expertise – was entitled: ‘Peculiarities of diagnostics and surgical treatment of elderly and senile patients with thyroid cancer’.
The discovery by investigative media Project (or Proekt) media – blocked in Russia and now functioning from abroad – backs recent theories that Putin declared war when he was suffering medical problems hidden from the Russian people.
One version is that he has been treated with steroids, leading to a bloated look around the face and neck.
There has been widespread speculation in the West that Putin had serious medical issues when he launched a war in Ukraine that estimates say has killed 17,000 Russian troops plus many Ukrainian defenders and civilians.
‘We promised to reveal to you the main secret of the Kremlin. Of course, we are talking about the health of Vladimir Putin,’ said Project media.
The report identified medics who regularly travel with Putin – who will be 70 in October – on trips, and especially in Sochi which Putin prefers to Moscow.
Apart from the thyroid cancer specialist, another was a neurosurgeon.
The report stated: ‘It is generally accepted that in the 23rd year of his reign, the President of Russia is only interested in geopolitics.
‘In fact, there is at least one other issue that Putin is hardly less worried about – his own health.’
It stated: ‘Putin has publicly shown interest in the problem of thyroid cancer.
‘In July 2020, he met with the head of the National Medical Research Center for Endocrinology, Ivan Dedov, who is the boss of Putin’s eldest daughter Maria [Vorontsova].’
Maria is a geneticist, aged 36, from his marriage to former Russian first lady Lyudmila Putina.
Dedov told the president about the high prevalence of thyroid cancer and spoke about the new hormonal drug Tyrogin, which fights metastases after surgery.
‘”Recovery of 95-98%?” Putin asked and heard an affirmative answer.’
The report went on: ‘There is indeed talk in medical circles about the president’s health problems.
‘Especially these conversations intensified in the early autumn of last year, when Putin behaved especially strangely.
‘After a long stay in isolation due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the head of state finally began to get out to meet people.
‘On September 13, he met with the Paralympian’s and even allowed the athletes to tightly surround him.
‘That is how, standing in a crowd of people, Putin suddenly announced that he had to go into isolation, because there were too many people around who were sick with the coronavirus.
‘The news came as a surprise even to the president’s entourage.
‘His press secretary was at first confused and refuted the chief – allegedly the president, speaking of isolation, expressed himself “figuratively”.
‘Nevertheless, the next day, Putin went into isolation, took part in the Duma elections from his own office and did not appear in public all September.
‘Whether the president was then undergoing some kind of medical manipulation is unknown, but after that he began to communicate with people at a very great distance – sitting on opposite sides of huge tables.
‘In other words, if before Putin moved away from people in a figurative sense of the word, now he began to do it in the most direct way.’
The medical problems appeared to get worse from 2016-17.
Putin was at this time treated by another specialist Dr Dmitry Verbovoy, an expert in acute illnesses, injuries and poisonings.
Another was Dr Konstantin Sim, an orthopaedic traumatologist, possibly helping with ice hockey injuries.
‘The president was regularly accompanied to Sochi by an average of five doctors,’ said the report.
‘For example, on the same day he was with Sim, four more doctors lived in Rus [sanatorium], including ENT specialist Alexei Shcheglov and infectious disease specialist Yaroslav Protasenko.’
In November 2016, 12 doctors were ‘settled’ in the Run sanatorium.
‘First, a group of Putin’s personal doctors arrive, headed by Verbov.
‘Then a group of operating neurosurgeons from the Central Clinical Hospital, headed by department head Oleg Myshkin, joins them for two days.’
Resuscitator of the Central Clinical Hospital Dr Pavel Sharikov was present along with Dr Elena Rastrusina, a specialist in the neurosurgical department, and at the same time, head nurse Lyudmila Kadenkova.
A rehabilitation specialist was also there – Dr Mikhail Tsykunov.
‘The treatment obviously went well – on December 1, Putin was already addressing the federal assembly.
‘A year later, the President awarded Myshkin the title of Honored Doctor of Russia.’
The report said that Putin has five times suddenly disappeared from view on medically related absences.