Kiev, May 24
Russian President Vladimir Putin is suffering from 'several serious illnesses' including cancer, but 'will not die tomorrow', a Ukrainian intelligence chief has claimed, Daily Mail reported.
Kiev military spy chief Kyrylo Budanov said he fears the Russian leader still has a 'few more years' left in him.
The major-general claimed Putin was the target of an assassination attempt shortly after launching his invasion of Ukraine.
He said the abortive bid was by representatives of the Caucasus, but gave no further details, Daily Mail reported.
In an much-heralded interview with Ukrayinska Pravda, Budanov, 36, confirmed that the Ukrainians believe Putin is suffering from cancer, but did not add to an advance excerpt from the interview which revealed an apparent assassination bid on him.
"He has several serious illnesses, one of which is cancer. But it is not worth hoping that Putin will die tomorrow. He has at least a few more years. Like it or not, but it's true," he said.
Budanov claimed Putin was in a 'confused' state mentally.
"Here we can argue a lot about the state of the dictator, who thought he would capture the whole country [Ukraine] in three days and raise the Russian flag on the administration building in Kiev," he said, Daily Mail reported.
"And for the third month in a row, declaring that he has the second and sometimes the first army in the world, he cannot cope, in his words, with backward non-state Ukraine," Budanov said.
Putin has 'significantly reduced people's access to people'. He allows in 'quite a small number of people' and 'keeps everyone else at a distance', he added.
Asked if he believes Putin is grooming a successor, he suggested his medical condition has made him 'manic'.