Putin to hit own security team with ‘serious punishments’ after ‘unplanned’ war in Ukraine

Putin could decide on 'full mobilisation' says US General

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Now in its fourth week, the Russian invasion of Ukraine has faltered, according to the UK Ministry of Defence. In a statement on Twitter yesterday, it said: “The Russian invasion of Ukraine has largely stalled on all fronts. “Russian forces have made minimal progress on land, sea or air in recent days, and they continue to suffer heavy losses.” But despite the claims, Russian troops have continued to strike targets across the nation of 44 million people.

Among the recent attacks was an airstrike on a theatre in the besieged Ukrainian port city of Mariupol on Wednesday.

Russian missiles also hit an aircraft maintenance plant near the city of Lviv on Friday, according to the city’s mayor.

A Russia expert has claimed that despite Moscow’s continued assault on Ukraine, Putin’s war is “unplanned”.

Professor Nikolai Petrov explained how the Russian leader will punish key members of his security team in response to the invasion not going to plan.

The expert is a senior research fellow on the Russia and Eurasia Programme at Chatham House, whose current research involves the decision-making process in Putin’s Russia.

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He told Express.co.uk: “First of all, it is understandable that the war is going on in a way, which was not planned and was not expected by Putin.

“He should look for those who are responsible, who misinformed him, who did not provide preparations.

“So, we will see many more serious moves and punishments, perhaps within medium level or even top level siloviki in the near future.

“But it doesn’t mean that there is a kind of internal opposition, which can come to the surface.”

The expert referred to the ‘siloviki’, Putin’s shadowy inner circle of top politicians, who are at the helm of Russia’s state institutions.

Amid Putin’s invasion, the spotlight has been thrown on this network of officials who help prop up his despotic regime.

In a sign of the Russian leader’s dissatisfaction with his team at how the war in Ukraine is unfolding, last week it was reported that he had placed a Russian spy chief and his deputy under house arrest.

The head of the FSB’s foreign intelligence arm, Sergey Beseda, was said to have been held with his subordinate, Anatoly Bolyukh.

The detentions were first reported by Andrei Soldatov, who runs the Agentura watchdog keeping track of Russian espionage.

The claim the two top officials were arrested was also made by Vladimir Osechkin, an exiled Russian human rights activist, who spoke to the Times.

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Professor Petrov acknowledged the reports of instability within the Kremlin’s corridors of power but stressed the need for caution about the arrests of FSB chiefs.

He said: “First of all, there was only one source of this information.

“I would not focus on this information because it says that the department responsible for informing Putin and for preparing this operation within Ukraine made serious mistakes.

“And that is why the person was put under house arrest.”

The expert also explained that although members of the siloviki are in positions of power, they ultimately answer to Putin.

He said: “They are realising certain orders and decisions coming from the top.

“Rather than making these decisions, due to strong discipline, I would not wait for any kind of internal move from this side to oppose Putin and decisions he makes.”

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