Vladimir Putin survived an assassination attempt two months ago at the start of the invasion, according to Ukraine’s chief spy.
The nation’s Chief of Defence Intelligence Kyrylo Budanov claimed the tyrant was attacked in an “unsuccessful attempt” on his life around two months ago.
He told Ukrainian Pravda: “Putin was assassinated…
“He was even attacked in the line of, as they say, representatives of the Caucasus not so long ago.
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“This is non-public information. Absolutely unsuccessful attempt, but it really took place… It was about 2 months ago.”
“Once again, he was unsuccessful. There is no publicity about this event, but it took place.”
Pravda said the full interview with Mr Budanov will be aired tomorrow.
In the event of Putin’s assassination, a “little-known tax official” named Mikhail Mishustin would take control of the Russian state, according to Business Insider.
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The protocol was outlined in legislation Putin passed last year to “reset the presidential clock”, allowing the despot to stay in power until at least 2034.
Mr Mishustin has actually been Russia’s Prime Minister since January 2020 .
The 56-year-old would officially take control of the Russian Government in Putin dies, or is incapacitated, for 90 days or until an election to replace him can be held.
Mr Mishustin is regarded in political circles as bland and powerless, with no major ambitions.
However, other sources say the power could be transferred to Nikolai Patrushev – Putin’s former KGB pal and current secretary of the Security Council of Russia since 2008 .
The former spook is “no better than Vladimir Putin”, according to another ex-Kremlin spy.
He added: “If he comes to power, Russians’ problems will only multiply.”
Described as Putin’s right-hand man Mr Patrushev is the “most influential person in the Kremlin bureaucracy” and the “only person” Putin trusts, according to Rebekah Koffler, a former DIA intelligence officer.
Writing for the New York Post , Ms Koffler said: “Both men have likely authorised the poisonings and killings of many Russian ‘enemies.”
She explained, some believe the pair of them ordered FSB officials to bomb apartment buildings in Moscow, killing up to 300 civilians in 1999 .
In October last year, Putin was directly asked about his successor in an interview with American broadcaster CNBC.
Putin replied: “I prefer not to answer such questions.”
The Russian leader could remain in power until 2036, if his health allows.
The incident relayed by Major-General Budanov today was not the first attempt made against the despot’s life as he has reportedly survived five previous would-be assassins.
In a 2012 interview with filmmaker Oliver Stone for the Putin Interviews, the tyrant explained how he foiled the plots by taking the advice of Cuban revolutionary and President Fidel Castro.
He claimed by personally managing his own security detail he has been able to cheat death.
One attempt is thought to have taken place the funeral of Anatoly Sobchak in St. Petersburg, on February 24, 2000, although he was saved by his guard service.
According to Rense , Federal Guard Service press secretary, Sergei Devystov, said that “not a psychopath but a certain organization was behind the attempt.”
CNN reports that a second took place that same year. The foiled attempt took place at a meeting of former Soviet nations, the Yalta summit of the Commonwealth of Independent States.
In attendance at the summit were leaders from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Ukraine .
The news was first reported by Interfax, a Russian news agency. Ukraine’s Security Service chief Leonid Derkach, said that his forces had foiled an attempt on the life of one of the leaders.
It was reported later by Russia Today that four Chechens and “several persons from Middle East countries”, had been arrested.
Another attempt saw a man drive into the perimeter walls of the Kremlin and tell the guards: “My name is Ivan Zaitsev. I’m the President of Russia. Now take me to Vladimir Putin !”
Putin’s security had the man arrested straight away.
Earlier this month Budanov – who holds the Major General rank – waded into the Putin health debate, saying he’s in “very bad condition” with cancer and other illnesses ravishing his body.
He said at the time: “Mr Putin is in a very bad psychological and physical condition and he is very sick.”
At the start of May the spy chief warned the the war won’t come to an end until Putin dies.
Major-General Budanov said the Russian leader has effectively signed his death warrant by ordering his troops into Ukraine.
Boldly predicting a Ukrainian victory at the same time as warning that mass-mobilisation in Russia was near, Major-General Budanov issued this veiled threat on Monday evening.
“Leaving him a way to retreat is one of the strategies, but it is almost unrealistic,” he told The New Voice of Ukraine when asked if Putin would survive the war.
“He is a war criminal for the whole world. This is his end, he drove himself into a dead end. Don’t worry, Ukraine will win.”
The Head of the Chief Intelligence Directorate would not be drawn on how the despot would be ousted or assassinated, but did predict that the future of Russia could unfold in one of two ways.
He said that Russia could be divided into multiple parts following its failure in the invasion, or it could be kept whole, but under new leadership.
Major-General Budanov went on to suggest that Russia was less than a week away from mass mobilisation, which would see its non-military citizens required to have a direct involvement in the war.
“Russia has already been enacting covert mobilisation and is preparing to announce a mass mobilisation in the near future,” he told NV.
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