The Russian President is reportedly facing a coup attempt, with disgruntled officers and the Federal Security Service (FSB) attempting to depose him. Speculation abounded in the Kremlin that certain retired generals and KGB officers would like to terminate the Ukrainian conflict and depose Vladimir Putin.
According to reports, many in Russia are starting to see the invasion as a blunder and an economic disaster for the country. As per the sources in the state's local press, the FSB is so frustrated by the lack of military development that it has called generals and former military officers.
Veteran FSB agents known as the "Siloviki" are reported to be working with ex-officers from other Russian intel agencies to try to oust Putin, who is 69 years old. Analysts from outside Russia are also referring to evidence that Russia's president could be overthrown shortly.
"Does it matter? It means a great deal," Andrei Soldatov, Russian security specialist, told The Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA), a research institute.
"For the first time, the Siloviki are putting some distance among themselves and the president, which brings up a plethora of possibilities," he said.
Putin has been gearing for a coup for several weeks as he has encountered strong criticism over his 'special mission' in Ukraine and has removed roughly 150 of his agents over the continual failures.
Alexey Muraviev, a Russian analyst, believes Putin is confronting mounting resistance. He said that there have been conflicts between Russia and the intel community, and he believes that kind of false narrative was provided to them by the Supreme Commander in Chief, and when it retaliated when the Russians started taking massive casualties, Putin started quietly blaming the security agencies.
I don't think it went well because he came from within the security establishment, especially in terms of the first preparation and the initial stages of the invasion, where the Russian military normally assumes they're heading there as liberators instead of conquerors," said Muraviev.
Putin, reportedly, called for the removal of 150 security personnel last month. The officials are alleged to be from the FSB security service, which succeeded the KGB. Some have been dismissed, while others have been arrested, based on reports.
According to Christo Grozev, executive director of Bellingcat, an investigative journalism outlet, the purge comes after reports that Putin may vanish for a duration of time to have cancer surgery.
Recent public statements by the Kremlin leader, in which he seemed overweight and unwell, have generated speculation throughout the world.