Russian elites are allegedly planning to remove President Vladimir Putin, according to Ukrainian intelligence, with a successor already in mind.
The incendiary claim came from the Chief Directorate of Intelligence for the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine on Sunday via a post on the ministry’s official Facebook page. The post boldly begins with, “Poisoning, sudden disease, accident—Russian elite considers the possibility of removing Putin.”
“In the environment of the Russian business and political elite, a group of influential persons opposing [Vladimir Putin] is formed,” the post reads. “Their goal is to remove Putin from power as soon as possible and restore economic ties with the West, destroyed due to the war in Ukraine.”
The alleged group is not only planning to potentially assassinate Putin, the post claims, it has also decided on a potential successor: Alexander Bortnikov, who currently serves as Russia’s Federal Security Service director, and headed up the analysis of the Ukrainian population and military capabilities ahead of the recent invasion.
The Chief Directorate claims that Putin and Bortkinov have recently had a falling out, with the Russian president blaming his subordinate for the country’s difficulties in taking over Ukraine. Bortkinov is now reportedly working with the group of Russian elites in devising potential ways to remove Putin.