Putin 'survived secret assassination attempt' at start of Ukraine invasion

Vladimir Putin survived a secret assassination attempt at the start of its invasion of Ukraine, Kyiv has claimed.

The Kremlin despot was targeted in the Caucasus – a mountainous region occupied by Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan and south-east Russia – according to the head of the Chief Inteligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defence in Ukraine, Kyrylo Budanov.

Mr Budanov told the Ukrainska Pravda website: ‘There was an attempt to assassinate Putin.

‘He was even attacked, it is said, by representatives of the Caucasus, not so long ago.

‘This is non-public information.

(It was an absolutely unsuccessful attempt, but it really happened… it was about two months ago.’

He added: ‘I repeat, this attempt was unsuccessful. There was no publicity about this event, but it took place.’

Pravda said the full interview will be published on its website soon.

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Reports of the assassination attempt emerged as a former M16 chief warned Putin could be removed from power and forced into a medical facility by next year.

Sir Richard Dearlove believes Moscow will ship its leader to a sanitorium as speculation continues to mount over his deteriorating health.

The ex-head of the UK’s Secret Intelligence Service predicts Putin’s right-hand henchman and former KGB agent, Nikolai Patrushev, is poised to seize control of the Kremlin.

But Sir Richard warned: ‘There is no succession plan in the Russian leadership.’

Others believe current Russian Prime Minister, Mikhail Mishustin, is being primed to take the lead. ‘

He is expected to be handed the top job if Putin died or was incapacitated, until an election to replace him could be held.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has been met with widespread horror and condemnation across the globe – as President Volodymyr Zelensky vowed Moscow must pay compensation for the destruction it has unleashed.

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