Putin ‘bracing for coup’ as Russian generals and FSB agents turn: ‘He’s very worried now’
Putin ally makes scathing Ukraine admission
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Vladimir Putin’s position as Russian President is reportedly under threat. On Sunday, ex-MI6 chief Sir Richard Dearlove said that the Kremlin chief “will be gone by 2023” and could be sent to a “sanatorium” to avoid a coup. He said: “I think he’ll be gone by 2023 – but probably into the sanatorium, from which he will not emerge as the leader of Russia. “I’m not saying he won’t emerge from the sanatorium, but he won’t emerge as the leader of Russia any longer.
“That’s a way to sort of move things on without a coup.”
He made the comments while talking to the One Decision podcast.
Russia expert, Andrei Soldatov, also believes Putin’s position could be under threat.
Speaking to the Centre for European Policy Analysis, he said the Russian President was believed to be “very worried” and has tightened security in and around the Kremlin.
He added: “Does it matter? It matters a lot.
“The Russian President has been bracing for a coup for some weeks as has faced fierce criticism over his ‘special operation’ in Ukraine and he has purged around 150 of his spies over the constant failures.”
Reports also suggest that relations between Putin and the FSB, Russia’s Federal Security Service, have been strained.
Last month, two senior officers in the FSB, were put under house arrest by Putin.
Mr Soldatov said that Sergei Beseda, the head of the FSB’s foreign intelligence branch, and his deputy had been detained and put under house arrest.
He said: “Both men have played a major role in intelligence operations against Ukraine for several years and highly likely played a major role in the planning for the invasion.
“There could be significant changes at senior levels in the FSB.”
Russian analyst Alexey Muraviev also believes that a coup could happen.
He told Sky News Australia: “I think that there have been tensions between Russia and the intelligence community and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin.”
Mr Muraiev went on: “I think that sort of false narrative was presented to them by the Supreme Commander in Chief, and when it fired back when the Russians began taking heavy casualties, Putin began quietly blaming the security services.
“I don’t think it went really well also because he’s coming from within the security apparatus.
“About the initial planning and the initial phase of the invasion where the Russian military naturally assume that they’re going there as liberators rather than the invaders.”
While Putin’s invasion is not going to plan, attacks on Ukraine have shown no sign of relenting.
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Russian forces lose 184 military vehicles in Donbas within week
Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky has said 50 to 100 Ukrainians are dying every day on the war’s eastern front in what appeared to be a reference to military casualties.
The heaviest fighting is currently focused around the twin cities of Sievierodonetsk and Lysychansk in Luhansk, one of the two regions that make up the Donbas.
Serhiy Gaidai, the governor of Luhansk, said in a local television interview that Russia was using “scorched-earth” tactics in the region and that Sievierodonetsk had been attacked from “four separate directions” though Russian forces had not succeeded in breaking into the city.
Russian airstrikes hit Ukrainian forces in the Mykolaiv and Donbas regions, targeting command centres, troops, and ammunition depots, the Russian defence ministry said on Sunday.
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