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Vladimir Putin slams ‘treason’ from Wagner mercenary group
Vladimir Putin is now “incapable of making decisions”, and can no longer count on the support of the majority of his troops, a former Russian military officer has claimed.
Igor Girkin, also known by the alias of Igor Strelkov, also claimed that the Russian President’s inner circle is drawing up plans to topple him 18 months after his invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022.
Self-proclaimed ultra-nationalist Girkin, who believes the Russian Federation, Ukraine, Belarus and all other Russian-speaking areas should be merged into a single state, with the former territory of the USSR coming under the direct influence of the Kremlin.
A prominent blogger in 2020, he was charged by the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine in 2020 for allegedly ordering the torture and killing of at least three people in April 2014.
Much like Wagner Group founder Yevgeny Prigozhin, Girkin’s criticisms of the Kremlin relate to the incompetence with which he believes the war has been waged, rather than as a result of concerns about the reasons behind the invasion.
READ MORE: Putin ‘will face wrath of NATO and Turkey’ if Russia targets grain ships
In a video tweeted yesterday, he said: “I’m afraid of the possibility that the enemy will still be able to break through our front by late August without exhausting his forces, in a situation where we have a president who is not informed, or we have a president who is incapable of making decisions.
“Then we will get a disaster on a national scale, much greater than the immediate consequences of some military defeat, even a serious one.”
Referring to Prigozhin’s failed rebellion, and angry remarks by Major General Ivan Popov, about his recent dismissal as commander of the 58th Army, Girkin added: “Prigozhin’s coup obviously achieved at least part of its goals.
“Popov’s speech shows that the army is not internally loyal to its own top command.
“The gap between the command, the leadership of the defence ministry and the army is huge. In this situation, the risk of military defeat becomes a risk for our statehood.”
He further predicted everyone responsible for the war would eventually appear before an international tribunal, suggesting influential Russian billionaires would be instrumental in turning them over.
He explained: “If someone from the top security forces entertained the thought that he would be personally forgiven and not sent to The Hague, you are mistaken.
“The Rotenbergs, Kovalchuks, Timchenkos and Abramovichs (Russian oligarchs) will send everyone to The Hague.
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“All those who will prevent them from continuing to pump resources from here and support the occupation regime they will establish here.”
In a separate Telegram post last week, Girkin also suggested a group of Putin’s allies referred to as the “Ozeros”, based in the Leningrad Oblast, were plotting to oust him and replace him with Sergey Kiriyenko, his own chief of staff, or possibly even Prigozhin himself.
He explained: “The powers within the ruling mafia are currently being redistributed as, or close to, planned by the conspirators behind the coup.
“The ‘Shoigu-Vorobiev-Sobyanin Tower’ has lost some of its positions although not completely demolished, and part of its influence and resources ‘flows’ into a group of oligarchs.”
He added: “This group, vitally interested in ending the war ‘on any terms’ – will not let us win in any case and will lead the president to realise the need to accept defeat and transfer supreme power to a successor nominated from this group.
“In the coming months, we should expect new campaigns aimed at ‘inoculation’.”
More mercenaries from Russia’s Wagner military contractor rolled into Belarus on Monday, a monitoring group said, continuing their relocation to the ex-Soviet nation following last month’s short-lived mutiny.
Belaruski Hajun, a Belarusian activist group that monitors troops movements in Belarus, said that a convoy of more than 100 vehicles carrying Russian flags and Wagner insignia entered the country, heading toward a field camp that Belarusian authorities had offered to the company. The convoy included heavy trucks and trailers with construction equipment, among other vehicles.
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