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If health deteriorates, Nikolai Patrushev could become Putin’s successor – Columnist

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If Vladimir Putin can no longer lead Russia, he will be replaced by Nikolai Patrushev, who is currently the country’s Security Council secretary, predicts Richard Dearlove, the former head of MI6, Britain’s intelligence agency. “I was going to say that at this point it will almost certainly be Patrushev,” Dearlove said on an episode of the One Decision podcast that aired on Thursday, August 11. “Whether he will survive politically in the long run is another matter,” he added.

According to the former head of British intelligence, only deteriorating health or a planned removal by a third party could have led to Putin’s resignation. Dirlav doesn’t expect the Kremlin leader to be able to step down to enjoy a “luxurious retirement,” referring to the wealth Putin is estimated to have amassed. “Like many great dictators, I wonder if he will ever enjoy the benefits or the fruits of his ill-gotten gains… He made a terrible mistake regarding Ukraine. The outcome of this is difficult to predict, but it will come to some unpleasant end.“.

Nikolai Patrushev has been close to Putin for decades and was part of the most closed group of the head of the Russian state. Louise Shelley, director of the Center for Terrorism, Transnational Crime and Corruption, also points to him as a potential successor: Patrushev is possible because he is one of the “siloviki” (power structures), “someone who is in Putin’s inner circle now”.

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Cancer, vision loss and body tremors. Suspicions are growing that Vladimir Putin is ‘nearing the end’

The state of health of Vladimir Putin has been the subject of several rumorsand there is even a suspicion that the Russian president may be facing some form of cancer.

Despite the Kremlin’s denials, intelligence agencies in several countries say that the life of Russia’s most powerful man may be coming to an end. Suspicion arose in early April when the independent Russian organization Project Media reported that Putin was “permanently” accompanied by Yevgeny Selivanov, a Moscow Central Hospital specialist and one of Russia’s top thyroid doctors. crayfish. . According to the investigation, within a year and a half they met 25 times. Aleksey Shcheglov, a surgeon who studied thyroid cancer diagnostics, is also said to have met with Putin several times. The possibility of blood cancer was also pointed out.

Dirlav points to the second hypothesis for Putin’s departure from power: the intervention of the Russian elite, who, according to Ukrainian intelligence agencies, are trying to remove him from power.

Who is the “Kremlin hawk”, the most influential person (after Putin) and who can become the successor of the current president?

Nikolay Patrushev, also known as the “Kremlin hawk”, is touted as a potential successor to Putin. A close friend and member of his inner circle, he was recruited into the KBG when he was only 24 years old, always sticking close to the head of the Russian state. According to historian and political scientist Valery Soloviev quoted by El Mundo, “they are friends, they think the same way.” In 2017, the Politico newspaper noted his “fiery nationalism, conspiratorial worldview and extensive espionage experience.”

The current Secretary of the Russian Security Council was the Minister of Security of the Republic of Karelia from 1992 to 1994. A year later, he joined the FSB, the federal security service that replaced the KGB, of which Putin was director from July 1998 to 1994. August 1999 When the incumbent left to become Russia’s prime minister, Patrushev took his place.

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Vladimir Putin has delayed the invasion of Ukraine at least three times.

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Putin has repeatedly consulted with Russian Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu about the invasion, Europa Press told Ukraine’s chief intelligence director Vadim Skibitsky.

According to Skibitsky, it was the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), which is responsible for counterintelligence and espionage work, that put pressure on Gerasimov and other military agencies to agree to launch an offensive. .

However, according to the Ukrainian intelligence services, the FSB considered that by the end of February sufficient preparations had already been made to guarantee the success of the Russian Armed Forces in a lightning invasion.

However, according to Kyiv, the Russian General Staff provided the Russian troops with supplies and ammunition for only three days, hoping that the offensive would be swift and immediately successful.

The head of Ukrainian intelligence also emphasized the cooperation of local residents, who always provided the Ukrainian authorities with up-to-date information about the Russian army, such as the number of soldiers or the exact location of troops.

The military offensive launched on February 24 by Russia in Ukraine caused at least 6.5 million internally displaced persons and more than 7.8 million refugees to European countries, which is why the UN classifies this migration crisis as the worst in Europe since World War II (1939-1945). gg.). ).

At the moment, 17.7 million Ukrainians are in need of humanitarian assistance, and 9.3 million are in need of food aid and housing.

The UN has presented as confirmed 6,755 civilian deaths and 10,607 wounded since the beginning of the war, stressing that these figures are much lower than the real ones.

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Life sentence for former Swedish official for spying for Russia

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A Stockholm court on Monday sentenced a former Swedish intelligence officer to life in prison for spying for Russia, and his brother to at least 12 years in prison. In what is considered one of the most serious cases in Swedish counterintelligence history, much of the trial took place behind closed doors in the name of national security.

According to the prosecution, it was Russian military intelligence, the GRU, who took advantage of the information provided by the two brothers between 2011 and their arrest at the end of 2021.

Peyman Kia, 42, has held many senior positions in the Swedish security apparatus, including the army and his country’s intelligence services (Säpo). His younger brother, Payam, 35, is accused of “participating in the planning” of the plot and of “managing contacts with Russia and the GRU, including passing on information and receiving financial rewards.”

Both men deny the charges, and their lawyers have demanded an acquittal on charges of “aggravated espionage,” according to the Swedish news agency TT.

The trial coincides with another case of alleged Russian espionage, with the arrest of the Russian-born couple in late November in a suburb of Stockholm by a police team arriving at dawn in a Blackhawk helicopter.

Research website Bellingcat identified them as Sergei Skvortsov and Elena Kulkova. The couple allegedly acted as sleeper agents for Moscow, having moved to Sweden in the late 1990s.

According to Swedish press reports, the couple ran companies specializing in the import and export of electronic components and industrial technology.

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The man was again detained at the end of November for “illegal intelligence activities.” His partner, suspected of being an accomplice, has been released but remains under investigation.

According to Swedish authorities, the arrests are not related to the trial of the Kia brothers.

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Ukraine admitted that Russia may announce a general mobilization

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“They can strengthen their positions. We understand that this can happen. At the same time, we do not rule out that they will announce a general mobilization,” Danilov said in an interview with the Ukrainska Pravda online publication.

Danilov believed that this mobilization would also be convened “to exterminate as many as possible” of Russian citizens, so that “they would no longer have any problems on their territory.”

In this sense, Danilov also reminded that Russia has not given up on securing control over Kyiv or the idea of ​​the complete “destruction” of Ukraine. “We have to be ready for anything,” he said.

“I want everyone to understand that [os russos] they have not given up on the idea of ​​destroying our nation. If they don’t have Kyiv in their hands, they won’t have anything in their hands, we must understand this,” continued Danilov, who also did not rule out that a new Russian offensive would come from “Belarus and other territories.” .

As such, Danilov praised the decision of many of its residents who chose to stay in the Ukrainian capital when the war broke out in order to defend the city.

“They expected that there would be panic, that people would run, that there would be nothing to protect Kyiv,” he added, referring to President Volodymyr Zelensky.

The military offensive launched on February 24 by Russia in Ukraine caused at least 6.5 million internally displaced persons and more than 7.8 million refugees to European countries, which is why the UN classifies this migration crisis as the worst in Europe since World War II (1939-1945). gg.). ).

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At the moment, 17.7 million Ukrainians are in need of humanitarian assistance, and 9.3 million are in need of food aid and housing.

The Russian invasion, justified by Russian President Vladimir Putin on the need to “denazify” and demilitarize Ukraine for Russia’s security, was condemned by the international community at large, which responded by sending weapons to Ukraine and imposing political and economic sanctions on Russia.

The UN has presented as confirmed 6,755 civilian deaths and 10,607 wounded since the beginning of the war, stressing that these figures are much lower than the real ones.

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