Putin's top security officials know Ukraine war is lost, analyst says

Putin’s top security officials believe ‘the war is lost’ and a coup is a realistic possibility, Russia analyst says

  • Christo Grozev believes FSB and GRU elite already realise Putin has lost his war 
  • He says they are looking for ways to get their money and families out of Russia 
  • Coup may start when generals refuse to carry out nuclear strike, Grozev argues
  • ‘This will be a signal of insubordination and perhaps the death of Putin,’ he said 

Vladimir Putin’s top security officials understand that the war in Ukraine is ‘lost’ and a coup is now a realistic possibility, a Russian analyst has predicted.

Christo Grozev, a Russia expert, believes GRU and FSB elites are the most likely to try and topple Putin, because they know the truth of what is happening on the ground.

And those elites are already looking for ways to move their money and families out of the country in anticipation of Putin falling, Grozev claims.

Vladimir Putin’s top security officials realise he has already lost the war in Ukraine and are preparing for the possibility of a coup (pictured, Putin with Defence Minister Shoigu)


Coup could begin when generals refuse to carry out an order to launch nukes, Russia expert Christo Grozev believes (left, Putin with Shoigu, and Shoigu, right)

Speaking to Radio Liberty about what may spark the coup, Grozev said the moment could come if or when Putin orders his generals to carry out a nuclear strike.

‘If Putin decides to give an order to use nuclear weapons, he must be sure that everyone along the chain will carry out this order,’ he said.

‘If one does not comply, then this will be a signal of insubordination. And perhaps even the physical death of Putin.

‘Until he is sure that everyone will comply, he will not give this order.’

Grozev believes similar fears are preventing Putin from giving the order for a general mobilisation of the Russian armed forces and population.

Such an order would allow him to massively boost troop numbers in Ukraine, perhaps shifting the tide of the war in his favour.

But the order would also cause a ‘social explosion’ among ordinary Russians, Grozev says, because it would mean admitting the ‘special military operation’ – which until now Putin has presented as a resounding success – has failed. 

Without either resorting to nuclear weapons or a general mobilisation, Russia has almost no chance of winning the war, the Bulgarian argues.

‘The security elite understands this’ and that is why they are the most-likely to try and topple their leader, he adds.

Grozev also said that defence ministry flights to a supposed command and control bunker near Ufa – 725 miles east of Moscow – have reduced since earlier in the war.

‘Those flights for the elite, which we recorded a month ago, are now not so intense,’ he said.

Grozev said that senior figures in the FSB – Russia’s main internal security agency – and in the GRU military intelligence directorate – are preparing for life after Putin.

The ‘intellectual part of the GRU’, those with ‘complete information’ understand the mire Putin is in, he said.

‘And also the FSB elite, which knows the specific number of victims among the Russian troops, and understands that the mothers, wives, sisters of the dead or missing Russian soldiers do not stop asking questions.

‘They know that this situation will eventually get out of hand.

‘These are those parts of the security forces who know the dangers for the regime, and they themselves are now preparing their future.

‘Some of them are looking for an opportunity to take their families out of Russia, all are looking for ways to transfer the accumulated money (corruption money in many cases) into dollars and euros.

‘This is already a kind of betrayal by these people, because they do not follow the ideological orders of the Kremlin, but are preparing for an alternative reality.’

Russia is now more than two months into a days-long war having lost thousands of troops and vehicles in what amounts to a catastrophe for Putin

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