Vladimir Putin’s Reportedly In Danger Of Being Assassinated With A ‘Hammer To The Head’ By A Member Of His Inner Circle

Vladimir Putin’s sort-of getting what he wants by continuing Russia’s assault on Ukraine for four months and counting, but not without consequence. This has sent his approval rating to a 20-year low, and he’s even lost a long-time ally who’s calling the invasion a “colossal mistake.” Yes, Putin’s still got his Botox, but that won’t keep him warm at night.

Meanwhile, we’ve heard word that Putin’s inner circle has been quietly poking around in order to install a successor, and there sure as heck must be some paranoia going on in Putin’s mind. His enemies famously end up being poisoned and/or dying, but the Daily Beast now reports that Putin’s inner circle is, in fact, shrinking because he fears being taken out. And for good reason, because there’s a growing sense of resentment within Russia (both normal people and oligarchs are feeling financial strain due to global sanctions), and the Beast reveals how ex-CIA Moscow chief of station Daniel Hoffman pinpointed three Russian officials who could very well be plotting to have Putin pushed out or killed:

“Nobody’s gonna ask, ‘Hey Vladimir, would you like to leave?’ No. It’s a f*cking hammer to the head and he’s dead. Or it’s time to go to the sanatorium,” Hoffman told The Daily Beast. “They schwack him for it. That’s what they’ll do.”

Three key members of Putin’s inner circle to watch, according to Hoffman, include Nikolai Patrushev, the chief of Putin’s Security Council; Alexander Bortnikov, the director of the FSB; and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu.

Even watching those three, predicting Putin’s political future–and particularly trying to get inside his head to determine what his plans are–is impossible. But the writing is on the wall. Vladimir Lenin died. Nikita Khrushchev was ousted. Leonid Brezhnev died. Mikhail Gorbachev was booted in a surprise ouster. The list goes on.

As Hoffman puts it, “It’ll happen all of a sudden. And he’ll be dead.” Likewise, though, Hoffman reveals that Putin’s very likely to be plotting to kill these same members of his inner circle. Man, no one must be taking that first bite of food without freaking out. And speaking of which, all of this discontent is apparently going to cause an “explosion” due to economics, which have been dismal in Russia with no sign of improvement, despite Putin “urging calm.”

Meanwhile, the Associated Press reveals that Putin’s been cozying up to the freaking Taliban, which is very bizarre because even Russia has formally declared them to be “a terrorist group,” but Putin wants to strengthen those ties. He’s insisting that this teamwork will help fix the mess in Afghanistan so that “all ethnic groups in Afghanistan… must properly participate in running the country.” However, Putin does want allies wherever he can get them, and that’s why he’s also been all up in China’s business while he’s otherwise a global pariah. That’s what happens when one bombing civilians like it’s nothing, all to fulfill an imperialistic fantasy.

(Via The Daily Beast & Associated Press)