The oligarch is believed to have discussed Putin’s health with a Western venture capitalist.
The Western businessman recorded the conversation without his permission, New Lines Magazine reported. The oligarch’s name has not been revealed in order to protect him.
The report comes after there was further speculation over the Russian leader’s health after his attendance at the Victory Day parade in Moscow earlier in May.
Putin was seen coughing at the celebration and keeping his legs warm by covering them with a heavy blanket, despite other senior Kremlin officials next to him not feeling the need for one.
While his sanity has been questioned over the decision to invade Ukraine, his physical health has also been a subject of intense debate over recent weeks.
Putin was filmed during a meeting with defence minister Sergei Shoigu where the pair discussed Mariupol on 21 April.
He seemed to look “bloated” and was spotted gripping the corner of his desk.
What did the oligarch reportedly say about Vladimir Putin?
The oligarch, who is said to be one of Forbes’ 200 richest Russians but lives outside the country, said that Putin was “crazy” with his Ukraine war.
He said the invasion had destroyed the economy.
During the recording, which is believed to have taken place in March, he said: “He absolutely ruined Russia ’s economy, Ukraine ’s economy and many other economies - ruined them absolutely.
“The problem is with his head. One crazy guy can turn the world upside down.”
The venture capitalist passed on the recording of the 11-minute conversation due to his outrage over the Ukraine war.
What was said about Putin’s health after Victory Day appearance?
The former BBC journalist John Sweeney was one of many to point out the blanket.
He wrote on Twitter: “Vladimir Putin - a blanket on his knees, his cheeks full, a hamster stuffed with steroids - cuts a weak and enfeebled figure as Russian Army rolls past the Kremlin. No declaration of big war; no call-up; no General Gerasimov. Listen: you can hear the knives being sharpened.”
One user on Twitter commented on the blanket by tweeting: “President Vladimir Putin throws aside his Russian Wool blanket to stride manfully to the unknown.”
While another joked that “Putin stole a blanket from a veteran” after noticing few others had one.
Putin’s demeanor during the meeting where he was seen holding on to the corner of the table has attracted attention.
He was slouched in a chair and appeared to be lacking in energy.
The Russian president also looked pale.
During the meeting the pair spoke about the besieged Ukrainian city of Mariupol. One of the last holdouts for Ukrainian forces in the city is a steel factory. Putin told his defence minster it would be “inadvisable” to storm it and ordered him to cancel it. He went on to “congratulate” him over the military operation in the city.
He said : “You successfully completed the combat effort to liberate Mariupol. Let me congratulate you on this occasion, and please convey my congratulations to the troops.”
The Metro reports that Anders Aslund, a Swedish economist and former adviser to Russia and Ukraine, said neither Mr Putin or Mr Shoigu, who read out his address from a bit of paper, looked well during their meeting, describing both as appearing “depressed and seemingly in bad health”.
“Shoigu has to read his comments to Putin and slurs badly, suggesting that the rumours of his heart attack are likely. He sits badly. Poor performance.”
There have been a spate of rumours over Putin’s health with previous pictures of him sitting at a bizarrely long table when holding meetings with senior world leaders and military commanders.
What else has previously been said about Putin’s health?
Previously, retired Royal Navy Admiral Chris Parry said he believed President Putin could be battling cancer, and suggested it could be this alleged medical condition that prompted the decision to press ahead with war.
His comments came on 4 March during a debate in Portsmouth, and were reported by our sister title The News.
Speaking to youngsters in an hour-long seminar at the Portsmouth Grammar School, the top naval officer explained where he thought the war between Putin and Ukraine could go.
He said that he believed president Putin could be battling cancer, which has caused him to invade Ukraine.
“He has been using these very long tables to interview people,” Falklands veteran Rear Admiral Parry said.
He added: “I think his immune system might be suppressed at the moment.
“So he is a man in a hurry.”
People who are taking immune-suppressing medication, such as cancer patients or those with chronic conditions, are known to be at a higher risk of contracting a severe case of Covid.
There has been speculation about whether this is behind Putin’s decision to sit metres away from foreign leaders and even his own colleagues.
In February the Russian leader was photographed speaking to French president Emmanuel Macron across a 13ft table.
His extreme measures have sparked rumours that the leader is terrified of catching Covid because he’s vulnerable to a severe infection.
Does Putin have cancer?
Several newspapers have suggested that Putin may be suffering from cancer too.
The Daily Star quotes an unnamed US intelligence source who claimed his ‘puffy face’, seen in recent photographs, is a side-effect of chemotherapy drugs or steroids.
The source said: “In the past we have seen him smile, but in 2022 there are few pictures of him looking happy.
"His look suggests he is in pain and our people suggest his angry look is most likely as a result of him being in agony.
“Our people are confident he is ill – he is concerned about Covid as he keeps his staff at a distance.”
Over the years there has been much speculation over the Russian President’s health, despite the leader taking part in photo-calls playing ice hockey or practicing his beloved judo.
Valery Solovei, political scientist and former head of the Public Relations Department at Moscow State Institute of International Relations, has previously claimed Putin has cancer as well as symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease.
He claimed Putin had emergency surgery in February 2020.
Another Russian source went on to claim it was an abdominal cancer operation.
In 2020 Professor Solovei spoke of Putin’s health traumas: “One is of psycho-neurological nature, the other is a cancer problem.
”The second diagnosis is a lot, lot more dangerous than the first named diagnosis as Parkinson’s does not threaten physical state, but just limits public appearances.”
He added: “But there is a fatal diagnosis.”
The Kremlin has not commented on the speculation that Putin is ill.
Is Putin’s face more bloated?
In recent weeks Putin has appeared to be looking noticeably more bloated around the face and neck - suggesting he might be undergoing treatment with steroids for a health condition.
In pictures released by the Kremlin he was described as looking “ashen and bloated.”
The 69-year-old President looked pale and unfit as his forces started to invade neighbouring Ukraine.
Side effects of steroids include increased risk of infection - which it is claimed could explain his paranoia about catching Covid. They can also spark "mood and behavioural changes".
According to Macmillan Cancer Support, a high dose of steroids can cause confusion or even changes in thinking.
Fiona Hill, the British former senior White House expert on Russia, told Politico: "Putin’s not looking so great, he’s been rather puffy-faced.
"We know that he has complained about having back issues.”
She added: "Even if it’s not something worse than that, it could be that he’s taking high doses of steroids, or there may be something else.
"There seems to be an urgency for this that may be also driven by personal factors."
What could Putin do next?
During the discussion with children at Portsmouth Grammar School, Rear Admiral Parry warned of how far Putin might take the invasion of Ukraine.
“What I think will happen is he will occupy Ukraine to the east of the Dnieper (river), he will totally occupy this region known as ‘New Russia’ across the bottom of the country, cutting Ukraine off from the Black Sea, and he will leave that rump of the north west, to the west of Kyiv to its own devices as long as it stays neutral,” he said.
He warned that Putin could seek to create a new land bridge in the south of Ukraine, encompassing Crimea (which Russia annexed in 2014) with the Ukrainian naval port of Odessa in the west and Russia in the east.
The naval veteran also warned that Putin might not stop there, with Moldova potentially on his radar to invade.
“I think that’s his next target,” he added.
Moldova is not part of NATO but does have relations with the organisation through the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council.
It doesn’t have any active plans to become a member of the organisation and is constitutionally neutral.