Putin’s top commanders will ignore his order to launch nuclear missiles because they think he is gravely ill, a senior investigative journalist has claimed.
Christo Grozev, who is linked to the Bellingcat open-source research group, said many military and security officials believe the tyrant is dying or severely ill.
In an online TV interview, he alleged that the commanders would also go against Putin’s request to kill opposition foes.
Gorozev claims it would be too much of a risk for them to obey such commands due to the impact possibly being blamed on them.
Speaking to interviewer Dmitry Gordon, he said: “I can’t speak without information, but we know that oligarchs from his closest circle claim it.
“We also know that the Lubyanka [FSB secret service] sent a letter about a month ago to all regional FSB chiefs.
“It said: ‘If you hear about him having a very serious illness, we insist you do not pay attention’.
“So they all thought this means the exact opposite.”
Grozev added: “So I think it doesn’t matter that much if he is dying or gravely ill, what matters is people around him think so.
“This changes the formula, this is a factor in deciding just how loyal people feel they should be to him.
“I believe this factor – that people close to him think that he is not all right health-wise – diminishes the risk of them obeying his order to kill foes, like they did in the past.
“The same reason makes it unlikely that someone will press the nuclear button, with the understanding that if he is gone in three or six months, who will protect them from a trial in Nuremberg?”
TV interviewer Gordon had asked Grozev: “We watch [Putin] spasmodically clutching the corner of the table with his right arm during a meeting with [Defence Minister Sergei] Shoigu
“And his jacket being too high and tight around his neck, his stumbling, limping gait…
“Is he sick, or do we just so much want him to be sick?”
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