Ongoing speculations in Moscow identify a number of former generals and KGB officials preparing to impeach Russian President Vladimir Putin, armed with the goal to put a stop to the conflict in Ukraine, which is increasingly recognised as a geopolitical miscalculation and, most all, an economic disaster.
According to numerous commentators and local media sources, Putin’s former employer, the Russian security service FSB, is so dissatisfied with the lack of military progress in Ukraine that it has sought out a number of generals and former army officers.
Former FSB officers who are involved in Russian politics, known as the ‘Siloviki,’ are believed to be campaigning hard to replace Putin, along with former officers from the GRU, KGB, FSO, and other Russian intelligence agencies.
The notion that a coup is coming is bolstered by social media activity in Russia and Eastern Europe, which has surged in the previous 24 hours.
Furthermore, many within and outside Russia have predicted that Putin will be deposed shortly.
According to reports, Russian President Vladimir Putin is “extremely concerned” and has increased security in and around the Kremlin.
“Does it matter? It matters a lot,” said Russian security expert Andrei Soldatov told The Center for European Policy Analysis.
“The Russian President has been bracing for a coup for some weeks as has faced fierce criticism over his “special operation” in Ukraine and he has purged around 150 of his spies over the constant failures,” Soldatov explained.
Moreover, rumours are also going around Putin’s health has taken a hit since the start of the war. In a number of videos, the Russian president looks tired and irritated.
According to the New York Post, Putin has been said to be suffering from cancer and a plethora of other terrible diseases, including Parkinson’s disease, due to his allegedly “sickly appearance and uncharacteristically fidgety behaviour in public” in recent times.
Growing tensions between FSB and Kremlin
Since the start of the war, it has been clear that the FSB’s relationship with Putin has worsened.
Putin placed two top officials in the FB under house arrest last month. Sergei Beseda, the chief of the Fifth Service – the FSB’s foreign intelligence department – and his deputy were seized and placed under house arrest, according to Andrei Soldatov, who runs the well-informed investigative website Agentura.
According to Western sources speaking to the Agentura platform, the decision was regarded as clear evidence Putin is concerned about the FSB’s participation in the attack against Ukraine and worries forces inside the intelligence apparatus are working against him.
“Both men have played a major role in intelligence operations against Ukraine for several years and highly likely played a major role in the planning for the invasion,” one said.