TOM UTLEY: Who wants to live to 150 in this mad world in which killjoys seek to ban all pleasure and police our thoughts? Cherry…
A vicious power struggle is going on at the heart of Putin’s Russia, with Mad Vlad planning to kill two warlords who had been hoping to take control of the country.
According to Russian human rights activist Vladimir Osechkin, Wagner Group chief Yevgeny Prigozhin started conspiring against Putin with General Sergey Surovikin.
Osechkin says Surovikin planned to become the Defence Minister and together with his ally Prigozhin taking control of the feared FSB security force, they would be able to boss Putin around like a puppet leader.
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But the plot “fizzled out” according to Osechkin, after Prigozhin overstepped the mark in his criticism of the way the war was being run.
In October, the successful Ukrainian attack on the Kerch Strait Bridge was a very unpleasant birthday present for Vladimir Putin.
Prigozhin and rival warlord Ramzan Kadyrov said publicly that the Russian army officials responsible for guarding the vital link between Russia and the annexed territory of Crimea, should be not only sacked but shot.
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That turned out to be a mistake, creating a significant split within the Russian leadership.
Osechkin says Putin’s revenge is coming, and while it may not be quick, it will be final.
“Judging by the methods Putin uses, a purge is most likely awaiting [Prigozhin],” Osechkin said. “I have no basis to think Prigozhin will survive until the end of this year”.
“He knows too much, he is complicit in too much and for Putin it is very important that he disappears forever and takes those secrets with him,” he added.
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The crackdown has already begun. Surovikin, 56, is not to be praised by Russian state media, according to a Kremlin directive leaked by former Russian MP Alexander Nevzorov, and only mentioned in “neutral” terms.
Russian political analyst Andrei Piontkovsky says a “mini revolution” took place within the Kremlin in January, when Surovikin was dismissed from the post of commander of the "special operation" in Ukraine, and Valeriy Gerasimov was appointed in his place.
"In my opinion, there was such a mini-revolution on the 10th,” he said. “…how else can you call it, if Putin, who has tied himself and his authority to the new commander, who was opposing in the public mind the Wagner PMC, "talentless professionals”.
“He dismisses him and returns Gerasimov to his post and, what is more humiliating, he not just fires Surovikin, but appoints Gerasimov as his deputy."
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