Very few dared oppose President Vladimir Putin, but dissidents in the Kremlin have described the invasion as a “huge mess” in secret internal talks. Based on my sources, it seems that the atmosphere in the corridor of power is not very good.
It wrote former BBC journalist Farida Rustamova in a report on March 6, which allegedly described the atmosphere in the Kremlin first after the invasion of Ukraine. Shortly after, rumors began to circulate around those close to Putin, and many wondered if the Russian president’s inner core was about to crack.
Sergei Shoigu is speaking in public again
On March 11, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, who led the invasion of Ukraine, disappeared from the public eye. Valery Gerasimov, the chief of staff, disappeared without a trace the next day. Now two more of Putin’s closest officials have sunk to the ground, according to The Moscow Times.
Speak not clearly
After days of intense speculation, Sjojgu appeared in public on Saturday for the first time in more than two weeks, in a video of a meeting with Russia’s defense leadership; According to Reuters, Gerasimov also participated.
It is unclear when the meeting actually took place.
– Russians should be scratching their heads
Based on BBC The Minister of Defense sometimes spoke incoherently on tape; There were rumors that the 66-year-old man had heart problems.
The defense minister also appeared in a clip from a digital meeting between Putin and his closest circle on Thursday. Some have questioned whether the clip is actually a previously edited recording of the meeting. Among other things, it is shown that the Minister of Defense has been posing in uniform since the start of the Ukraine war, while in the clip he suddenly returns in a suit.
Neither Putin nor anyone else has so far denied the speculation.
The head of the National Guard and Putin’s former bodyguard, Viktor Zolotov, and Russia’s security chief Aleksandr Bortnikov are now reported to have died.
Zolotov has not spoken since March 14. Then he should have stated on the National Guard website that the war was not progressing as quickly as expected, write Reuters. The Moscow Times wrote that the Kremlin had shared photos of Zolotov allegedly taken on March 22, but that these photos appeared on the website from 2017.
A flood of reputation after this
Bortnikov, as head of the Russian FSB security service, wielded great influence, and according to BBC become the most trusted person by the president. But in the past month, he has only attended two meetings with Putin – March 11 and 24. Both times in the video, in the same clothes and against the same background, writes the Moscow Times.
Several FSB employees have been arrested as a result of the war, according to BBC. It is not known if that is why Bortnikov now appears to be missing.
Since mid-March, four senior Russian leaders in the defense and security services have disappeared more or less permanently. It is unknown why they stayed away from the public for such a long time.
The missing officials are by no means alone in popping up in speculation about Putin’s seemingly failing core. It has been confirmed that Russian politician Anatoly Chubais has left the country in protest of the war in Ukraine.
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