Russian elites conspiring to overthrow Putin, Ukrainian intelligence says

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Ukrainian military intelligence is claiming that a group of Russian elites is plotting to overthrow Russian President Vladimir Putin and “restore economic ties” with the West, perhaps using his own signature methods of poisoning or an accident to accomplish the task.

“Poisoning, sudden illness, accident – Russia’s elite is considering removing Putin,” the Chief Directorate of Intelligence for the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine posted on Facebook Sunday. It is unknown whether this is factual or propaganda to make Putin even more paranoid than he likely already is.

Intelligence is reporting that a group of “influential people” has coalesced in Russia, according to the New York Post. Their stated goal is to “remove Putin from power as soon as possible and restore economic ties with the West, which were destroyed by the war in Ukraine.”

It’s being alleged that the Russian Director of the Federal Security Service (FSB) Alexander Bortnikov is being considered as Putin’s replacement. He is a member of the Russian president’s trusted inner circle. These allegations could get Bortnikov eliminated if Putin sees him as a threat and it should be noted that, not only is he a top spy for the Russians, he didn’t get there by being an altar boy.

The Ukrainians are asserting that Putin and Bortnikov have had a falling out. Putin reportedly blamed him for “fatal miscalculations” in the invasion of Ukraine when it did not unfold the way it was planned.

“Bortnikov and his department were responsible for analyzing the mood of the population of Ukraine and the capacity of the Ukrainian army,” the Directorate stated.

The intel allegedly came from unnamed Russian sources, who are “considering various options for removing Putin from power.” Those options evidently include a potential assassination. Given Putin’s survival instinct, his canny ruthlessness, and his burgeoning paranoia, that task will not be easy.

According to the post, the regime change could also potentially “be an attempt to establish cooperation with the Ukrainian authorities.”

Much of the unrest in Russia is said to be due to a collapsing economy as a result of sanctions imposed by the United States and its NATO allies. Many contend that Putin thought the war would be over in a matter of days and did not foresee the resistance from the Ukrainians. Given Putin’s military and intelligence background, that is hard to fathom.

Russian oligarchs are having their assets seized across the globe and are very unhappy over it. Many have not only fled Ukraine but Russia as well, fearing sanctions and the wrath of Putin.

There is great instability now in Russia with runs on the banks and panic buying as food reportedly becomes scarce. Meanwhile, Putin continues to blame the West for the want in his country as everything but the kitchen sink is thrown at Ukraine.

“The truth is that the problems faced by millions of people in the West are the result of many years of actions by the ruling elite of your respective countries, their mistakes, and short-sighted policies and ambitions. This elite is not thinking about how to improve the lives of their citizens in Western countries,” Putin proclaimed, according to Republic World.

“They [Western government],” he declared, “are obsessed with their own self-serving interests and super-profits. The entire planet is now paying for the West’s ambitions and the West’s attempts to maintain its elusive dominance by any means possible.”

Other voices are calling for the assassination of Putin as well. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) called for it earlier in March and was excoriated for it.

“If [Putin] continues to be their leader, then he’s going to make you complicit with war crimes,” Graham told the Russian people. “You’re a good people, you’ll never have a future, you’ll be isolated from the world, and you’ll live in abject poverty. So I’m hoping somebody in Russia will understand that he’s destroying Russia, and you need to take this guy out by any means possible.”

“Is there a Brutus in Russia? Is there a more successful Colonel Stauffenberg in the Russian military? The only way this ends is for somebody in Russia to take this guy out. You would be doing your country — and the world — a great service,” Graham later tweeted.

Graham was blasted by both sides of the political aisle for calling for Putin’s assassination.

White House press secretary Jenn Psaki denounced Graham’s explosive suggestion in what appeared to be an attempt to defuse the sentiment.

“That is not the position of the United States government. And certainly not a statement you’d hear from — come from the mouth of anybody working in this administration,” she bitingly concluded.


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