“Poisoning, sudden illness, accident — Russia’s elite is considering removing Putin,” posted on Facebook from the Chief Directorate of Intelligence for the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine.
“A group of influential people in opposition to Vladimir Putin is being formed among the Russian business and political elite,” the directorate said, according to a translation. “Their goal is to remove Putin from power as soon as possible and restore economic ties with the West that were destroyed by the war in Ukraine.”
The Ukrainian intelligence claimed that the Russian elites are looking at Alexander Bortnikov, the Russian director of the Federal Security Service and a member of Putin’s inner circle, as Putin’s replacement. The reason Bortnikov is being eyed as Putin’s replacement is because Bortnikov and Putin have had falling out after Putin blamed him for “fatal miscalculations” in the invasion of Ukraine.
“A certain part of the Russian political elite of the Russian Federation considers as the successor of Putin – the director of FSB Alexander Bortnikov. It is noteworthy that Bortnikov has recently fallen out of favor with the Russian dictator. The official reason for the disgrace of the head of the FSB – fatal miscalculations in the war against Ukraine,” according to the Facebook post.