Putin 'creating disquiet' in recruitment of soldiers says Clarke
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Ukraine has claimed that Russian President Vladimir Putin already survived an assassination attempt at the start of the war in February, and now fresh claims have emerged that further attempts could be imminent. Ukraine’s Chief of Defence Intelligence, Kyrylo Budanov, said this week that Putin was almost killed two months ago. He told Ukrainian Pravda: “Putin was [almost] assassinated…He was even attacked in the line of, as they say, representatives of the Caucasus not so long ago. “This is non-public information. Absolutely unsuccessful attempt, but it really took place… It was about two months ago.”
“Once again, he was unsuccessful. There is no publicity about this event, but it took place. “
And last month, it emerged that ongoing threat’s to the president’s life were increasing.
The Ukrainian intelligence body said a “group of influential” members of the “Russian elite” were planning to poison Putin.
The plan involved removing Putin from power in order to install a new leader and mend ties with the West, it was claimed.
According to the intelligence brief, the Kremlin figures were furious at the impact the war and subsequent sanctions have had on the Russian economy.
In fact, Kyiv even claimed that a new leader – Oleksandr Bortnikov – has already been lined up.
Mr Bortnikov is the director of the Russian security services (FSB).
Mr Budanov said: “It is known that Bortnikov and some other influential representatives of the Russian elite are considering various options to remove Putin from power.
“In particular, poisoning, sudden disease, or any other ‘coincidence’ is not excluded.”
While criticism of the Russian government is difficult due to Putin’s authoritarian rule, some voices have spoken against the Kremlin line since the invasion began.
Oleg Tinkov is one of Russia’s best-known entrepreneurs and one of the most high profile Russians to publicly call out the actions of Mr Putin.
He posted on social media that 90 percent of Russians were against the war in Ukraine and added “morons in any country are 10 percent”.
Mr Tinkov continued: “I don’t see a SINGLE beneficiary of this insane war! Innocent people and soldiers are dying.
“Waking up with a hangover, the generals realised that they have a shit army.
“And how will the army be good, if everything else in the country is sh*tty and mired in nepotism, sycophancy and servility?
“Kremlin officials are shocked that neither they or their children will be off to the Mediterranean in the summer. Businessmen are trying to save the rest of their property.”
Another oligarch, Mikhail Fridman, broke ranks with the Kremlin and called for an end to Russia’s war in Ukraine in March.
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Mr Fridman said: “My parents are Ukrainian citizens and live in Lviv, my favourite city. But I have also spent much of my life as a citizen of Russia, building and growing businesses.
“I am deeply attached to Ukrainian and Russian peoples and see the current conflict as a tragedy for them both.
“This crisis will cost lives and damage two nations who have been brothers for hundreds of years. While a solution seems frighteningly far off, I can only join those whose fervent desire is for the bloodshed to end.”
Mikhail Khodarenok, a retired Russian military colonel and analyst, appeared on Russian-state TV last week and suggested that “the situation [for Russia] will clearly get worse”.
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