According to an expert, senior Russian security officials believe the war in Ukraine is “lost”.
Those officials are now preparing for a post-Putin Russia, Bellingcat’s Christo Grozev said.
Some of them are already looking for opportunities to get their families out of Russia, Grozev said, per Metro.
Top Russian security officials believe the war in Ukraine is “lost”, suggesting Vladimir Putin’s regime may be coming to an end, according to an expert on Russia-related security threats.
“The informed elite” within the security forces “understand that the war is lost,” Bellingcat senior Russian investigator Christo Grozev said in an interview with Radio Liberty, per Metro.
To have a chance of winning the war, Grozev said, the Russian president would need full mobilization, but that would cause him problems at home. Mass mobilization would lead to a “social explosion” in Russia, Grozev added, according to Metro.
Some in Putin’s inner circle might pressure him to use nuclear or chemical weapons, Grozev continued, but others will say “enough is enough.” These people would say “it’s better not to waste another 10,000 lives of our soldiers and officers,” Grozev said, per Metro.
Although exact figures are not available, it is estimated that thousands of Russian servicemen died in the country’s brutal offensive against Ukraine. According to the British Ministry of Defence, Russia has lost a third of its forces.
Western officials say Russia, facing military setbacks, is losing momentum as the war in Ukraine continues.
Grozev said FSB security officials, who know how many Russian soldiers have died, believe Putin is losing his grip on power. “It is these elements of the security forces who know the dangers to the regime, and they themselves are now planning their future,” he said, according to Metro.
A number of FSB and GRU officials are preparing for a post-Putin Russia, according to the expert. “Some of them are looking for an opportunity to get their families out of Russia,” Grozev said.
Last week Ukraine’s military intelligence chief told Sky News that a coup to overthrow Putin was already underway. “It’s impossible to stop it,” Major General Kyrylo Budanov said.
Insider previously reported that the grievances that typically drive a coup against a dictator are in place — a struggling economy, military setbacks and low morale. However, Putin has spent decades making his regime coup-proof, an expert told Insider.
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