Putin desperately ‘worried’ about coup plot amid mysterious deaths of Kremlin inner circle

Putin is ‘worried’ about coup says commentator

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At least five Kremlin-linked officials have mysteriously died since Vladimir Putin launched his invasion of Ukraine. The deaths could be a sign that President Putin is “worried” about his inner circle in Kremlin. Nico Hines, the world editor for the Daily Beast, told France24 that the dead oligarchs and Kremlin officials were not “outspoken critics” but “generally those who have been a part of the inner circle”.

Mr Hines said: “I think we should take it as a good sign.

“I don’t believe in coincidences, so as far as I’m concerned most of these are probably assassinations by people in the FSB – whether or not directly on orders of the Kremlin.

“These are not outspoken critics. These are people who are generally those who have been a part of the inner circle.

“At the start, there was speculation about whether the oligarchs could talk Putin down and pull him back from the brink.”

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He continued: “Obviously, they failed at that.

“But these deaths suggest that Putin is worried, that he is trying to get control again of influential people in Moscow.

“It suggests there are whispers and rumours of people who might potentially stop Putin.”

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Vivienne Walt, Paris Correspondent on Time Magazine, added that the alleged assassinations were”a classic strategy for Putin”.

Meanwhile, one military expert has suggested that Russia’s all-out assault on the Donbas has already “fizzled out”.

Dr Mike Martin, a war studies visiting fellow at King’s College London, said the battle in the east of Ukraine will last another two to four weeks.

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Dr Martin tweeted that Russia could run out of troops as Ukraine counterattacks.

He predicted that “Russian forces will collapse and we’ll see a coup” in Moscow.

Also today, Russia’s foreign minister Sergei Lavrov has sparked alarm after claiming that more than one million people have been “evacuated from Ukraine” into Russia since the invasion.

He told China’s Xinhua news agency: “In total, 1.02 million people were evacuated from Ukraine, the DPR and the LPR, of which over 120,000 citizens of third countries.”

Ukraine has accused Moscow of forcefully deporting thousands of people to Russia with humanitarian corridors repeatedly breaking down.

There are also claims of ‘filtration camps’ housing the deported prisoners of war and civilians.

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