This comes amid speculation about the Russian leader’s health in recent days, although the Kremlin has categorically denied that Mr. Putin is sick. Valery Solovy – a well-known critic of Putin – claimed that the head of state had cancer.

This comes on the heels of an earlier confirmation by Mr. Solovi that Mr. Putin may have Parkinson’s disease, as was first reported by The Sun.

Now, Putin’s critic and political analyst is making other claims about the Russian leader’s health.

Solovi referred to sources within the Kremlin with which he was allegedly in contact.

He told The Sun newspaper on Friday that Mr. Putin, 68, suffers from two health conditions, adding that “one of them is of a psychological and neurological nature, and the other is a cancerous problem.”

He said, “If anyone is interested in an accurate diagnosis, I am not a doctor, and I have no moral right to disclose these problems.”

Solovy, the former head of the public relations department at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, also claimed that Putin underwent an operation in February this year.

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Meanwhile, Mr. Solovi has suggested that a number of other prominent Russian personalities be vying for the presidency.

Among them is Katerina Tikhonova, Putin’s 34-year-old daughter, who is currently leading an artificial intelligence program.

Others are said to be Dmitry Medvedev, who resigned as prime minister earlier this year, and Dmitry Patrushev, the country’s agriculture minister and executive director of the Russian Agricultural Bank.

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And Peskov, a Kremlin spokesman, had already denied earlier this month that Putin had plans to step down in the near future.

This week, the State Duma of the Russian Parliament endorsed a bill giving Putin and his family immunity from criminal prosecution even if he steps down as president.

The bill forms part of a number of amendments to the Russian constitution that were agreed upon in July this year.

Other changes include allowing Putin to hold the presidency for two more terms.

His current term is set to expire in 2024, which means he will be in power for about 24 years.

Alexey Navalny, one of Putin’s most prominent critic and opposition leader, tweeted: “Why does Putin need an immunity law now?”

Mr Navalny was gradually recovering after being poisoned with a nerve gas earlier this year while on a trip in Siberia.

German medical investigators concluded the use of the chemical agent Novichok. The Kremlin is widely blamed but has denied any involvement.