Menz Magazine

Former CIA officer says Putin could be at risk of being killed or deposed by a member of his inner circle

MIKHAIL METZEL/SPUTNIK/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES

According to a former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) official, Russian President Vladimir Putin might face severe internal challenges and be in danger of dying or being ousted by a member of his inner circle.

In response to his actions in Ukraine, top aides may threaten Putin, according to Daniel Hoffman, a former CIA officer who was formerly stationed in Moscow, told the Daily Beast.

Hoffman, according to the source, singled out Sergei Shoigu, the Russian defense minister, Nikolai Patrushev, the head of the Kremlin security council, and Alexander Bortnikov, the director of the Federal Security Service, as potential dangers.

“Nobody’s gonna ask, ‘Hey Vladimir, would you like to leave?’ No. It’s a fucking hammer to the head and he’s dead. Or it’s time to go to the sanatorium,” Hoffman told The Daily Beast. “They schwack him for it. That’s what they’ll do.”

In the meantime, Ronald Marks, a senior member at the Atlantic Council think tank and a former CIA official, told the magazine that Putin might still be secure if the agents protecting him remain loyal, according to Fortune.

 “And he’s done a nice job of getting rid of those who aren’t on his side,” Marks said.

Marks compared Putin with earlier deposed Russian leaders, claiming that they “either drop dead in office” or lose their authority.

Putin might end up in a sanitarium and be removed from power by 2023, according to Sir Richard Dearlove, a former head of British intelligence, who made the same prediction in May.

Putin was the target of an assassination attempt, according to a Ukrainian intelligence official in the same month. The “controlled environment” around Putin would make an assassination attempt “hugely complex,” according to Western sources who denied that claim.

Reports in April suggested that Putin had purged his inner circle. Similar purges reportedly took place among top Russian military officials as well as national guardsmen in Putin’s “private army.”

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