Moscow's military elite is not likely to allow Vladimir Putin to launch nukes in his failing war against Ukraine, a top expert has revealed.
The President would face an uprising and spark a Kremlin coup if he presses for a strike, according to the British source who advises governments on Russia.
“A military mutiny is the most likely end for Putin’s rule,” the source said.
The Kremlin elite believe the tyrant’s nuclear threats are currently working as leverage against the West, the source said.
But if he orders an actual strike, senior officers are likely to mutiny and mobilise against the Kremlin, forcing Putin to step down or die.
The source added: “Faced with Putin’s recklessness and the need to prevent use of nuclear weapons, the military are most likely to stage a coup to depose him.
Image:AFP via Getty Images)
“The second most likely group are Putin’s Presidential Administration of acolytes, ex-KGB spies and ex-military led by Evgeny Viktorovich Prigozhin. So far they think his nuke statements are serving their purpose.”
The source says the most likely replacement will be Putin’s confidante Prigozhin, 61, dubbed Putin’s Cook, because his high-end catering firm worked for him.
But he has close links to Moscow GRU spooks and founded the mercenary Wagner Group, dubbed “Putin’s private army”.
Other possible endings include “popular uprisings, disorder, insurrection and breakaway by Siberia, the far east and far north regions”.
Military experts also believe Putin is considering special forces attacks on Western infrastructure similar to the breaches of the Nord 1 and 2 gas pipelines.
Expert Russia commentator Bruce Jones said: “In a sense, Russian forces are more adept at this sort of special forces operation than at the complicated large scale invasion of Ukraine.”
Putin claimed yesterday he has “great respect” for Ukrainians, deferred certain reservist deployments and claimed Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia would soon “stabilise”.
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky said his military had taken back many towns in the four annexed regions.
Gold teeth ripped from the mouths of prisoners were found in a Russian torture chamber. The plastic tub was in liberated Pisky-Radkivski in Kharkiv.