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Who is Nikolai Patrushev, who could take over if Putin goes undergoes surgery?

He is considered to be the mastermind behind the war strategy in Ukraine

patrushevf Russia's Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev | Reuters

Russian President Vladimir Putin will, reportedly, hand over power to a trusted former-KGB officer for a few days for a medical emergency. The Russian leader will undergo surgery for cancer, the British media reported. Putin, it is tipped, will transfer power to the head of the Russian federal police's Security Council, Nikolai Patrushev, while he is incapacitated for a short while. 

PAtrushev, a former Foreign Intelligence Service lieutenant general is known by the pseudonym “Viktor Mikhailovich,' the New York Post reported. 

Putin's sickly appearance and fidgety behaviour have raised questions concerning his health including speculation that he suffers from Parkinson's. 

Who is Patrushev, the person who will temporarily hold power, while Putin undergoes surgery? 

Patrushev, a former KGB counter-intelligence officer, is considered an important player in the Russian invasion of Ukraine. He is considered to be the mastermind behind the war strategy in Ukraine. Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin was overlooked when Patrushev was chosen to take over. Patrushev is known to be Putin's confidant and friend. Patrushev hails from a strong military background. Born in 1951, he is the son of a Soviet Navy officer who was also a member of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

Patrushev joined the KGB in 1974. He was a security officer in the city of Leningrad. He rose as the head of the anti-corruption and anti-smuggling unit of KGB and was minister of security of the Republic of Karelia from 1992 to 1994. Patrushev rose in the ranks from being the deputy chief of the FSB's Organization and Inspection Department in 1995 to the Director of FSB in 1999. 

Since 2008, Patrushev has been working as the Secretary of the Security Council of Russia. The FSB is considered to be the main successor organization to the Soviet KGB. Patrushev is known for his “fiery nationalism, conspiratorial worldview and extensive espionage experience,” Politico reported. He is also known to push the view that Ukrainians and Russians are one people, divided at the behest of Western powers. 

“Using their henchmen in Kyiv, the Americans, in an attempt to suppress Russia, decided to create an antipode of our country, cynically choosing Ukraine for this, trying to divide essentially a single people,” the New York Post quoted him as saying. 

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