‘Paranoid’ Putin facing ‘potential coup’ after axing 150 spies over Ukraine humiliation

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Putin removed the members who were working on Ukraine from the Federal Security Bureau (FSB) which was formerly the KGB. Allegedly the spies for this department had been operating in Ukraine for years before this ‘special military operation’ in an attempt to destabilise the country before the invasion.

While Russia believed they had done enough so they could conquer Ukraine in a matter of days, they were in fact met by fierce resistance and were utterly humiliated in the process, something that Putin does not take kindly to. 

The President had placed his top spy chief Sergei Beseda on house arrest after being dismissed for “reporting false information to the Kremlin about the real situation in Ukraine before the invasion”.

Mr Beseda, 68, has now been sent to Lefortovo prison in Moscow which Stalin used for interrogation and torture during his rule.

Russian security services expert Andrei Soldatov told The Times: “Putin could have very easily just fired him or sent him off to some regional job in Siberia.

“Lefortovo is not a nice place and sending him there is a signal as to how seriously Putin takes this stuff.”

Speaking to Sky News Australia, Russia analyst Alexey Muraviev issued a warning that the Russian President may be facing a “potential coup” but this would not be to end the war in Ukraine. 

Mr Muraviev said: “I believe there might be potential for a coup but not for the reasons we want to assume and understand.

“If the coup is to take place and the coup would be executed by say Russia security, law enforcement or the Russian military for that matter, it’s not because they want to stop the war, it’s because they would want to win the war to see the success of the war.”

Mr Muraviev explained the friction that has entered the Russian intelligence services since the invasion of Ukraine.

He said: “I think that there have been tensions between Russia and the intelligence community and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin.

“Because clearly, there’s been a clear error of judgement that was made, and it was probably driven by Putin himself about the situation in Ukraine.

“About the initial planning and the initial phase of the invasion where the Russian military naturally assume that they’re going there as liberators rather than the invaders.

He concluded: “I think that sort of false narrative was presented to them by the Supreme Commander in Chief, and when it fired back when the Russians began taking heavy casualties, Putin began quietly blaming the security services.

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“Which I don’t think went really well also because he’s coming from within the security apparatus.”

Mr Solotov wrote in the Moscow Times of the suspicions that Beseda’s intelligence force was maintaining contacts with the CIA as “many people in Moscow and the Kremlin have been asking themselves why US intelligence before the war was so accurate”.

He added: “This might have added more to the already existing climate of paranoia. 

“When Putin gets paranoid, he starts looking for traitors in the places and institutions which are known to have official contacts with American intelligence.”

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