‘Half of Russian elites ready to betray Putin for Americans’, says ex-advisor

As if the whole world wanting Vladimir Putin gone wasn't bad enough for the dictator it's now been claimed that 'over half' of his top ministers want him gone too.

The explosive claims were made by Sergey Markov, a Moscow political scientist and politician who once served under Putin.

Speaking to Kazan’s Business Gazeta, the ex-advisor said that division under Mad Vlad was as bad as it ever was and some senior officials were even contemplating working with the Americans to oust him.

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He said: "In our government, approximately half of the people are capable at any moment of betraying Putin and running over to the side of the Americans.

The Putin loyalist also called for a purge of the Kremlin's top brass, warning the President that "radical Westernizers and false loyalists must be obscured from the elite."

Talks of a coup come as experts warn that Putin's younger replacement could be even more brutal than he is.

Discussion over who could succeed the two-time Russian President has intensified in recent months amid speculation over the 69-year-old's health and Kremlin insider Dmitry Kovalev is rumoured to be one leading candidate.

Kovalev, 36, is said to share Putin's love of ice hockey and is employed in an important position in the Kremlin.

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Keir Giles, author of Moscow Rules: What Drives Russia to Confront the West meanwhile suggested recently that there is “no reason” to think that any successor to Putin would be any less hardline — and could even be tougher than him.

Suggesting there would be little effort to make amends with the Western world, he told Express.co.uk that the next Russian leader would instead invoke nationalist support by "bringing Russia back to the normal default state of its opposition to the West”.


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