70-year-old spymaster Alexander Bortnikov has come under scrutiny after claims there was a plot to overthrow Putin and replace him with a close, ruthless ally
Image: AFP/Getty Images)
From being accused of poisoning his own spy to his recent falling out with Putin, ex-KGB spy Alexander Bortnikov has lived a terrible life.
It has been claimed that a rogue figure could replace Vladimir Putin – after Russian elites reportedly hatched a plan to oust the brutal director.
Ukrainian intelligence officials yesterday claimed to have uncovered a plot to remove Putin from his presidency over fears economic sanctions would cripple the country.
Elite circles in Moscow are said to fear that the country’s brutal war could have further consequences for them.
Now they are reportedly considering a number of options to replace him – including faking an accident or poisoning the brutal leader.
His former friend Alexander Bortnikov, previously sanctioned by the US, is said to be in the running to succeed him.
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He is the current director of Russia’s FSB – a post previously held by Putin – and was considered an influential member of the president’s small inner circle.
Bortnikov previously served in the KGB and met Putin while both were stationed in Leningrad – now Saint Petersburg – in the 1970s.
Since he was appointed to the top position in 2008, he is said to have ruled with an iron fist to ensure Putin’s regime endures.
The shadow organization — on which Putin relies for all his intelligence — is at the heart of the Russian government, and Dossier Center describes it as a “state within a state.”
After Putin became president, he appointed Bortnikov to head Russia’s economic security service, where he wielded enormous power.
In 2006 it was alleged that Bortnikov allegedly oversaw the operation to assassinate Alexander Litvinenko on British soil.
The agency is also believed to be responsible for the poisoning of Alexei Navalny on the orders of Mr Bortnikov.
Russia and Bortnikov deny any involvement in the deaths.
And in 2017, Bortnikov was accused of taking a pro-Stalinist stance after a group of academics claimed he was legitimizing the mass purges carried out under Joseph Stalin, dubbed the “Great Terror.”
At the time, he told a newspaper that archives showed that “a significant portion” of the criminal cases of those killed “had an objective side.”
Now, secret agents claim that powerful figures in Russia chose the spymaster, believing that he can help restore economic ties with the West.
“Their goal is to remove Putin from power as soon as possible and restore economic ties with the West, which were destroyed by the war in Ukraine,” Ukraine’s Defense Intelligence Service said.
“It is known that Bortnikov and some other influential representatives of the Russian elite are considering various options to remove Putin from power.
“In particular, poisoning, sudden illnesses or other ‘coincidences’ cannot be ruled out.” Putin and Bortnikov’s relationship is believed to be strained – with the spymaster accused of allowing his military commanders to be overwhelmed by fierce Ukrainian defences.
Putin is said to be unhappy with the FSB for failing with the intelligence information secured during the war.
Deputy Vyacheslav Ushakov has already been fired.
An intelligence source told the Mirror: “It is noteworthy that Bortnikov was recently dishonored by the Russian dictator.
“The official reason for the disgrace of the FSB leader – fatal miscalculations in the war against Ukraine. “Bortnikov and his department were responsible for analyzing the mood in Ukraine and the capabilities of the Ukrainian army.”
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/terrifying-regime-putins-replacement-who-26531183 Terrible regime of Putin's 'replacement' who 'poisoned his own KGB spy' - World News