The Russian dictator will reportedly nominate hardline Security Council head and ex-FSB chief Nikolai Patrushev to take control of the invasion while he is under the knife.
Shadowy Patrushev, 70, is seen as a key architect of the war strategy so far – and the man who convinced Putin that Kyiv is awash with neo-Nazis.
The extraordinary claims appeared on popular Telegram channel General SVR, which says its source is a well-placed figure in the Kremlin.
General SVR reported that Putin has abdominal cancer and Parkinson’s 18 months ago.
He has reportedly delayed surgery, which will now not take place before the Victory Day commemoration of Russia’s World War Two victory in Red Square on May 9.
The news comes amid speculation Putin will launch an all-out war across Ukraine and order mass mobilisation of military-age men, a considerable political risk.
The surgery had been scheduled for the second half of April but was delayed, SVR claimed.
‘Putin was recommended to undergo surgery, the date of which is being discussed and agreed,’ the outlet stated.
‘There seems to be no particular urgency, but it cannot be delayed either.’