VLADIMIR Putin will be ousted in a “palace coup” staged by his inner circle within two years, according to new intelligence analysis.
As the war in Ukraine drags and sanctions bite, even the Russian tyrant’s cronies will see his “toxic” behaviour as a threat to their wealth and power so it’s “highly likely” they will depose him, the experts say.Vladimir Putin will ‘likely or highly likely’ be ousted within two years[/caption]
Their assessment is that “it’s likely to highly likely that President Putin will not be in the position he is within the next two years” if the West ramps up sanctions.
But rather than the mass uprising like the one that deposed Libyan dictator Colonel Gaddafi – which he is said to fear – Putin’s end will come from within.
At a briefing, Dragonfly said that given the security around Putin, it’s unlikely such an uprising or a coup by spies and soldiers would succeed.
READ MORE ON VLADIMIR PUTIN
Instead Putin’s fate lies in the hands of his inner circle of six cronies, made up of military, security and business figures – “squat men in ill-fitting suits”.
They are the only people Putin trusts to and they have been unswervingly loyal to him – until now.
They are Sergei Naryshkin, head of the foreign intelligence service, defence minister Sergei Shoigu, Alexander Bortnikov, a former head of the FSB internal security service and Nikolai Patrushev the head of Russia’s Security Council.
It comes as….
- A Russian helicopter has been blasted out of the sky by Ukrainian forces using a British missile for the first time.
- Putin bathes in deer antler blood to boost his sex drive and general health, reports have claimed.
- Russia has warned Britain that weapons supplied to Ukraine will escalate the war and are “legitimate targets”.
- Ukrainian helicopters hit a storage facility in Belogrod with S-8 rockets, triggering a huge blaze and injuring two workers.
- A Russian soldier has died of radiation sickness from the destroyed Chernobyl nuclear power plant.
- An orangutan rescued from under-siege Kharkiv is so traumatised that keepers have given him a TV so he can hear children’s laughter.
- Russian soldiers have reportedly left burned and booby-trapped bodies of executed civilians on a highway.
Also in the group are Sergei Chemezov, the head of state-owned defence conglomerate Rostec, and oligarch Igor Sechin, the boss of the Rosneft energy giant.
Sechin’s £458 million yacht and a £140 million vessel belonging to Chemezov were seized in Spain after they were sanctioned by the EU for ties to Putin.
These men are known in Russia as the “siloviki” which translates as “men of force”.
All have experience working with Putin in the Soviet-era KGB security service or in the St Petersburg city administration.
Most read in The Sun
They motivated by “cash and the ability to spend it and the buy into this theory that the Russian empire is returning and President Putin is driving that”, says Dranonfly.
“The challenge is what happens when Putin’s position no longer guarantees the safety and financial security of the individuals around him.
“Clearly some of that is underway – the sanctions are unprecedented.”
According to the intelligence analysts, there is a “contract” between this inner circle plus other oligarchs and Putin.
“You can have your cash and you can spend it in St Tropez and you can buy your enormous megayachts and send your children to British public schools and Western institutions for education.
“The deal on my side being you’ll never challenge my position, you will not get involved in politics and when needed I can call on you for favours.”
But the “truly dangerous scenario” is that Putin’s actions make him “genuinely toxic as a leader and by toxic, genuinely endangering the safety and financial security of these individuals”.
“The danger scenario for Putin now is…there’ve very little alternative contract that he can offer the oligarchs and these individuals.
“There’s very little chance that a counter offer of how about you send your children to elite educational institutions in Beijing and holidaying in the Black Sea is as attractive as St Tropez or Oxford.”
The worry for Putin is that as the war drags on the West ramps up sanctions to the stage where Russian genuinely enters a financial crisis
That will place additional pressure on President “to keep his key advisers and those that need cash to stay on board on side”.
“At that stage we need to start thinking about a palace coup, of efforts to remove President Putin.”
That would involve “elements within President Putin’s Kremlin or the security services or critically any of the six individuals deciding that him as a leader has become too toxic to their position and as a result is a threat to them”.
But there won’t be soldiers in combat gear on TV “explaining that the President has fallen ill and so on”
“What we would be more likely to see a group of squat men in ill-fitting suits walking into the Kremlin.
“President Putin then being explained as either ill or having to step down for other reasons – family reasons and so on.
“And what we effectively end up with is President Putin being removed and replaced with someone plucked from the same relative obscurity that he one occupied.”
Whether there’s change in the new leader’s attitude to the West is the “million dollar question”.
Read More on The Sun
But at this stage the thinking is that “it would be far more of a “rebrand rather than a reset”.
On an upbeat note, Dragonfly says “any new cabal in charge of the Kremlin…would start with an end to the conflict in Ukraine or at least return to good faith negotiations.”
Help those fleeing conflict with The Sun’s Ukraine Fund
PICTURES of women and children fleeing the horror of Ukraine’s devastated towns and cities have moved Sun readers to tears.
Many of you want to help the five million caught in the chaos — and now you can, by donating to The Sun’s Ukraine Fund.
Give as little as £3 or as much as you can afford and every penny will be donated to the Red Cross on the ground helping women, children, the old, the infirm and the wounded.
Donate here to help The Sun’s fund
Or text to 70141 from UK mobiles
£3 — text SUN£3
£5 — text SUN£5
£10 — text SUN£10
Texts cost your chosen donation amount (e.g. £5) +1 standard message (we receive 100%). For full T&Cs visit redcross.org.uk/mobile
The Ukraine Crisis Appeal will support people in areas currently affected and those potentially affected in the future by the crisis.
In the unlikely event that the British Red Cross raise more money than can be reasonably and efficiently spent, any surplus funds will be used to help them prepare for and respond to other humanitarian disasters anywhere in the world.
For more information visit https://donate.redcross.org.uk/appeal/disaster-fund
* Read the full story...This article was originally published h
Who will be Next to leave the EU? Check out who is leading in our exclusive poll Poll