Ukraine’s spy chief claims coup to overthrow Putin is underway

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LONDON — Ukraine’s head of military intelligence claimed he believes that a coup to remove Russian President Vladimir Putin was already underway in Russia — and said he thinks the war will likely be over by the end of the year.

in an article published Saturday, Major General Kyrylo Budanov said he was “optimistic” about Russia’s defeat, suggesting the loss would lead to Putin being removed from power.

“It will eventually lead to the change of leadership of the Russian Federation,” Budanov claimed. “This process has already been launched.”

When asked if a “coup” was underway, he told Sky News: “Yes. … They are moving in this way and it is impossible to stop it.”

Vladimir Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin is seen here after Russia’s Victory Day parade on Monday. (Sputnik/Mikhail Metzel/Pool via Reuters)

According to Sky News, Budanov doubled down amid suggestions he was spreading propaganda. “It’s my job, it’s my work, if not me, who will know this?” he said.

Gordon B. Davis Jr., the former deputy assistant secretary general of NATO’s defense investment division, separately he doesn’t “think we’re likely to see a coup in the near future.”

“It’s tough to talk about the credibility of such a likelihood,” he said. “I don’t put a lot of credence right now into the rumors.”

Budanov added in his interview that since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, Russian forces’ military tactics have not changed, despite their shift in focus to eastern Ukraine.

“The breaking point will be in the second part of August,” he said. “Most of the active combat actions will have finished by the end of this year. As a result, we will renew Ukrainian power in all our territories that we have lost and the Crimea.”

Sky News noted that the major’s prediction that Russia would invade this year — despite other officials remaining skeptical — was correct.

During the interview, Budanov also claimed that Putin is currently in “a very bad psychological and physical condition and he is very sick.” In recent years there about Putin’s.

, an oligarch close to Putin claimed the Kremlin leader is “very ill with blood cancer.” In a recording obtained by the publication, an unidentified oligarch was heard allegedly discussing Putin’s health. He went on to complain that Putin had gone “crazy” and claimed that he had surgery on his back which was linked to his cancer just before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February.



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