Vladimir Putin appears to be spiralling further into paranoia over a potential coup as he has arrested a close ally who helped make him president.
Reports from Moscow claim the leader’s former aide Vladislav Surkov is being held under house arrest as part of a massive criminal probe which has also arrested around 150 Russian security agents.
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The probe is investigating the alleged £4billion embezzlement by security services to try and create a network of undercover intelligence officers in Ukraine .
Former deputy prime minister Surkov is widely credited with keeping Putin in power.
Surkov is said to have created opposing political parties, which were in reality run by the Kremlin.
He also founded Nashi, similar to the Hitler Youth in Germany, whose members would beat up supporters of those same parties.
Last year Surkov told the Financial Times : “People need [propaganda]. Most people need their heads to be filled with thoughts.
“You are not going to feed people with some highly intellectual discourse. Most people eat simple foods… Generally, most people consume very simple-meaning beliefs.
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The former Putin aide reportedly encouraged the Russian president to believe Ukraine was not a real country, and called for Russia to annexe Belarus, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania as well.
Surkov was nominally sacked over ‘policy differences’ but his recent arrest suggests Putin is turning on his former allies.
His arrest is linked to that of Col-Gen Sergei Beseda, now being held in Lefortovo Prison in Moscow.
Russian media outlet Buninskaya Alleya reported: “More and more sources report that Vladislav Surkov is under house arrest.
“Investigative measures have been carried out allegedly in the case of embezzlement in the Donbas since 2014. It was Surkov who was the representative of the Russian President in Ukraine.”
Boris Karpichkov, a former KGB spy, insisted Putin is now “completely losing his mind” over the state of the Ukraine war .
The ex-double agent said he lost the war before it started and before the idea of invading Ukraine came into his head
Karpichov said: “He turned out to be a psychopath really heavily obsessed with paranoid ideas and conspiracy theories against himself and about non-existent threats Russia allegedly faces from the rest of the world.”
In January the 62-year-old said he was on the same hit list as poisoned double agent Sergei Skripal.
And he claimed to have had seven death threats since the NCA handed over his personal details in answer to an extradition request from his native Latvia.
The latest being probed by police came through the post on January 2nd telling him: “Traitors like you have no place on earth. Death is on the way. You are already a half-corpse.”
Karpichkov says the message was sealed in a bubble wrap envelope and he became ill with flu-like symptoms shortly after opening it.
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