Ex-Putin aide paralysed in hospital and unable to close eyes after poisoning
Vladimir Putin's former aide has been pictured in hospital partially paralysed and unable to close his eyes amid rumours of a possible poisoning.
Anatoly Chubais, 67, was once the Kremlin's chief-of-staff and Russia's deputy prime minister.
He is the most high profile Russian official to quit their job over the ongoing invasion of Ukraine, and has now been taken ill in a hospital in Sardinia, Italy.
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Yesterday (August 3) his condition was formally diagnosed as Guillain-Barré syndrome, a rare neurological disorder that can be life-threatening.
However, reports suggest Italian secret services have launched a probe into his illness. Chubais has also been visited by an Italian prosecutor.
According to journalist and ex-presidential election candidate Ksenia Sobchak, specialists in hazmat suits have checked the location where he fell ill.
This comes after several instances of Putin's enemies dying in suspicious circumstances, with fears among Western intelligence services that Russia has tried to create toxins that mimic real diseases.
Chubais left Russia after he resigned from his post as Putin’s envoy to international organisations in March.
“His condition has stabilised, but Anatoly [Chubais] is still in intensive care. His legs and arms do not work well, his eyes cannot be closed, and he has partial facial paralysis,” said Sobchak.
A post from anti-Putin General SVR Telegram channel claimed that Chubais was on a draft hit list of people hostile to Nikolai Patrushev, secretary of the Russian security council.
It claimed that Patrushev, 71, a former head of the FSB secret service and key architect of the war in Ukraine, was almost assassinated last month.
The post read: “The list is large and contains 18 names of fairly well-known people, while Patrushev does not provide any evidence that would indicate that these people were directly related to the organisation of the assassination attempt.
“This is more like an attempt by the secretary of the security council to settle scores with old ‘well-wishers’ by eliminating people who are personally objectionable to him in competing clans.
“In it [were] several people to whom Putin feels personal dislike or has some doubts about sincere loyalty.
“For example, Anatoly Chubais, the former chairman of the board of RUSNANO and special representative of the president for relations with international organisations… was included in the list.
“Judging by the fact that after talking with the president Patrushev was in a good and high spirits, Putin supported him and agreed to ‘settling scores’ with people from the list.
“And then, surprisingly, on Sunday, a number of information resources reported a sharp deterioration in Anatoly Chubais’ health.
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“Knowing how the system works, we can assume that this is most likely a coincidence, since there was simply no time to prepare an assassination attempt, and Patrushev prefers to carefully prepare special operations of this kind.”
The Telegram channel is authored by an exiled former lieutenant-general using the alias Viktor Mikhailovich.
It claims insider Kremlin knowledge but there is no clear evidence backing the claims.
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