Putin survived an assassination attempt after he invaded, Ukrainian intelligence official says

·2 min read
Putin survived an assassination attempt after he invaded, Ukrainian intelligence official says
Vladimir Putin Russia
Russian President Vladimir Putin.Alexander Demyanchuk/AP
  • There was an assassination attempt on Putin about two months ago, Ukrainian intelligence claims.

  • Kyrylo Budanov told Pravda in an interview preview that it was "absolutely unsuccessful."

  • Insider could not immediately verify this latest claim.

Russian President Vladimir Putin survived an assassination attempt launched not long after he invaded Ukraine, Ukraine's top military intelligence official said.

Kyrylo Budanov told the Ukrainian newspaper Ukrayinska Pravda that in March, "there was an attempt to assassinate Putin."

The newspaper also published an English version of the comments.

According to Pravda's translation, Budanov said: "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 2 months ago.

"I repeat, this attempt was unsuccessful. There was no publicity about this event, but it took place."

Pravda said the comments were part of a longer interview that it would publish soon.

Budanov has repeatedly spread unverified information about threats to Putin and did not provide evidence to support his latest claim.

About a week ago, he claimed that Putin's health was in decline and suggested an "impossible to stop" Kremlin coup was under way. In that interview with Sky News, he said he expected a change of leadership by the end of the year.

Because he referenced "representatives of the Caucasus," Budanov appeared to be saying that Ukraine was not behind the attack.

The Caucasus are a large geographical region. They comprise some Russian territories, including North Ossetia-Alania and Chechnya, as well as non-Russian states such as Georgia and Azerbaijan, which used to be in the Soviet Union.

Anton Gerashchenko, a senior Ukrainian government official, also shared Budanov's comments on his Telegram profile.

About the time of the claimed assassination attempt, there were already signs that the advance of Russian troops in Ukraine was faltering badly, with reverberations in the Kremlin.

The assassination claim is the latest in a long string of claims — of varying reliability — about Putin's health and its influence on his leadership in Russia.

Most recently, on Wednesday, the former MI6 chief Richard Dearlove said Putin would be out of power by 2023 and be committed to a sanatorium.

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