Expert claims Russian President Vladimir Putin will be killed by rivals

Rumors continue to circulate about Vladimir Putin’s future – and, according to an expert, the Russian president’s time is running out.

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s days may be numbered – and when his time is finally up, things will “not be pretty”.

That’s according to former CIA Moscow station chief Daniel Hoffman, who told the Daily Beast in an explosive new interview that he was convinced the 69-year-old would be killed.

He told the publication that his advisers would brutally turn on him if they became unhappy with their personal views or the progress of the war in Ukraine.

‘No one will ask, ‘Hey Vladimir, do you want to leave?’ No. It’s a goddamn hammer to the head and he’s dead. Or it’s time to go to the sanitarium,” Mr. Hoffman said.

“They shun him. That’s what they will do.”

He told the publication’s national security reporter Shannon Vavra that Putin’s rivals would give little warning before making their potentially bloody move.

“These guys who are going to do it are going to be so secretive about it that Putin won’t find them and kill them first,” Hoffman said.

‘It’s going to happen all of a sudden. And he will be dead.”

And when it came to who those rivals might be, Mr Hoffman was not afraid to name names, mentioning Nikolai Patrushev, the head of the Security Council of the Russian Federal Police, Alexander Bortnikov, the director of the FSB, and minister of Defense Sergei Shoigu as likely culprits.

Nikolai Patrushev’s name has consistently cropped up as a potential Putin successor, with the 70-year-old building a reputation for brutality, with the “General SVR” Telegram channel recently reporting that he would be the “worst option” to replace Mr Putin. .

“Patrushev is an outright villain. He is no better than Vladimir Putin,” the narrator claimed.

In addition, he is a more cunning, and I would say, more insidious person than Vladimir Putin. “If he comes to power, the Russians’ problems will only get worse.”

Another potential contender is Alexander Bortnikov, a member of Mr Putin’s inner circle.

In March, he was mentioned by the Defense Intelligence Service of Ukraine (DIU) as a possible option, as he had held his current position since 2008.

And Sergei Shoigu — Russia’s popular, longest-serving cabinet minister — is also widely regarded as a potential replacement option, with Al Jazeera writing last year: “Shoigu is often seen on TV fishing and hunting with Putin — a symbolic anointing that some say that makes him the most likely successor”.

“He has serious opportunities, much greater than anyone else for now,” Nikolay Mitrokhin, a researcher at the German University of Bremen, told Al Jazeera at the time.

All three men are key members of Russia’s “siloviki” — the term used for former military personnel now in political positions — with the group emerging as a growing threat to Putin’s rule.

The speculation comes amid endless rumors of Mr Putin’s health, following a string of reports that he was suffering from serious conditions such as cancer or Parkinson’s, based on changes in his appearance and his newfound clumsy behavior in public.

Ukrainian spy chief Kyrylo Budanov told USA Today that he believes Putin will die in the next two years because he suffers from “serious illnesses”.

“Putin doesn’t have a long life ahead of him,” he said.

Russia’s Huge Blow

Meanwhile, Russia’s economic problems continue to worsen, with the country defaulting on its foreign currency sovereign debt for the first time since 1918 after grace periods on two eurobonds worth about $100 million ($ A144 million) expired over the weekend.

The failure was the result of a series of sanctions imposed on Russia by Western countries as a direct result of the deadly invasion of Ukraine, which has been raging since Feb. 24.

Unsurprisingly, Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov labeled the situation a “farce” and claimed that Russia was able to pay the debt.

“Everyone can say what they want,” Siluanov said.

“But anyone who understands what’s going on knows that this is in no way a standard.”

And the rogue state will also take another major blow this week, leaving it out of pocket by “tens of billions of dollars” thanks to a strict new ban on Russian gold by G7 countries.

The leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States are currently meeting in Munich, Germany for the latest summit, where they decided to roll out the crackdown this week.

The news was confirmed on Sunday by US President Joe Biden, shortly after the first reports of a gold ban leaked.

“The United States has imposed unprecedented charges on Putin to deny him the revenue he needs to fund his war against Ukraine,” Biden tweeted.

“Together, the G7 will announce that we will ban the import of Russian gold, an important export that brings in tens of billions of dollars for Russia.”