(RepublicanWire.org) – A group of Russian elites are allegedly conspiring to overthrow Russian President Vladimir Putin and “restore economic ties” with the West, according to Ukrainian intelligence.
“Poisoning, sudden illness, accident — Russia’s elite is considering removing Putin,” declared a Sunday Facebook post from the Chief Directorate of Intelligence for the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine.
The ministry claimed that a group of “influential people” has been forming in Russia who want to “remove Putin from power as soon as possible and restore economic ties with the West, which were destroyed by the war in Ukraine.”
The intel alleges that the group has already been eyeing Alexander Bortnikov, the Russian director of the Federal Security Service and a member of Putin’s inner circle, as a successor to the president.
Many Russian elites allegedly are willing to do whatever they can to get Putin out, even assassination.
The directorate claimed Bortnikov and Putin had a falling out after Putin blamed him for “fatal miscalculations” in the slow-going and costly invasion of Ukraine.
“Bortnikov and his department were responsible for analyzing the mood of the population of Ukraine and the capacity of the Ukrainian army,” the directorate said.
The directorate said its intelligence came from Russian sources, who are “considering various options for removing Putin from power,” including a potential assassination.
The leadership change may also “be an attempt to establish cooperation with the Ukrainian authorities” as the war drags on, the post said.
The Russian economy has been strangled by sanctions imposed by the United States and its NATO allies.
The sanctions have put increasing pressure on Putin, who believed his Ukraine invasion — now in its third week — would be over in a matter of days.
Across the globe, influential Russian oligarchs have had their valuable assets seized by Western countries, and many have fled back to the motherland or to friendlier nations.
US Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) was rebuked earlier this month after he called for the assassination of Putin from the inside.
“If [Putin] continues to be their leader, then he’s going to make you complicit with war crimes,” Graham said, addressing the Russian people. “You’re a good people, you’ll never have a future, you’ll be isolated from the world, and you’ll live in abject poverty.
“So I’m hoping somebody in Russia will understand that he’s destroying Russia, and you need to take this guy out by any means possible.”
He later tweeted, “Is there a Brutus in Russia? Is there a more successful Colonel Stauffenberg in the Russian military? The only way this ends is for somebody in Russia to take this guy out. You would be doing your country — and the world — a great service.”
Graham was slammed by politicians from both sides of the aisle for the suggestion. White House press secretary Jenn Psaki denounced Graham’s inflammatory comments.
“That is not the position of the United States government. And certainly not a statement you’d hear from — come from the mouth of anybody working in this administration,” she said.