Vladimir Putin may flee Russia and go into hiding to save his own life following the disastrous invasion of Ukraine, an ex-FSB spy claims.
Secret service colonel turned war analyst Igor Strelkov predicts the dictator will "panic" at the eventual collapse of the war and look for a way out.
"Only when the situation becomes critical," the former Putin loyalist says will Putin abandon ship with pals in South America already preparing for his arrival.
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Strelkov who as defence minister of the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic, played a key role in the Kremlin’s seizure of Crimea, shared his thoughts with YouTuber Govorit Karaulov.
Strelkov continued: “There are several ways he can vanish,” he told Karaulov's 255,000 subscribers.
“Apart from a sudden illness or an accident – but they all are in the future – this year or next year because the situation now is not so critical..
“Putin might have a desire to leave, to flee, to leave everything behind.
“According to his psychological type, it is only in this situation that he will, most likely, panic and might simply try to get away to save his own life.”
Strelkov compared him to ousted Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych, who fled to Russia with Putin’s help in 2014.
“They are the same type of people,” said Strelkov, 52, whose real name is Igor Girkin, with almost 300,000 subscribers on Telegram.
He has recently predicted that Russia “is on the verge of military defeat and no capture of small towns and villages changes the situation”.
Dismissing Putin as incompetent, he said: “Not only mediocre generals and mercenary officials should be responsible for this, but also the commander-in-chief [Putin] who appointed them and stubbornly refuses to change them.”
Former Putin speechwriter Abbas Gallyamov – now a critic – has previously claimed that the president’s allies have plotted a “rainy day” plan for him, his family and closest associates to flee Russia if needed.
They had sought havens in China, Venezuela and Argentina, he said.
Putin expert Valery Solovey – a former professor at Moscow’s prestigious Institute of International Relations [MGIMO], a training school for spies and diplomats – said plans earlier included such varied locations as Israel, the Central African Republic, and one unnamed European country.
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Yet they were now hopeless for Putin due to the course of the war, he said.
Solovey explained: “Now they have no destination country."
“There is no place they can hide, it simply does not exist on the planet, because [the war] changed the situation.
“And this is why the political establishment is highly nervous, particularly those who are responsible for the military and political part of the operation.”
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