Rumours are spreading that Russian despot Vladimir Putin is purging his advisers with three of his top men reportedly going missing.
With the aftermath of Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin's aborted 'coup' still being felt, a number of Kremlin hotshots have gone missing under mysterious circumstances.
While on paper Russia is still displaying an air of composure, some believe numbers within the despot's clique are slowly diminishing.
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The Sun says Putin is preparing his defences, consolidating his power and disposing of his weakest links.
A Russian blogger has made astonishing claims that the military leadership within the country is heavily considering removing defence minister Sergei Shoigu from his position.
The blogger claims that the Wagner mutiny 'may still be having ramifications on the highest echelons of military command.'
In another development, one of the country's most brutal operators, General Sergey Surovikin – who is appropriately nicknamed 'General Armageddon' for his brutal methods – has not been seen publicly since June 24 after he had apparently discovered secret plans.
His family are distraught after he failed to show his face at his wife's birthday party. In June, he was reportedly arrested after releasing a brief video calling for the mercenaries to stop their rebellion.
Chief of General Staff Valery Gerasimov and Deputy Defence Minister Yunus-bek Yevkurov are also said to have disappeared.
The Moscow Times added that General Gerasimov has lost his main position, with Colonel-General Mikhail Teplinskiy stepping in as his replacement.
Supposedly, Gerasimov has maintained his overall control of the Russian armed forces as the chief of general staff. However, Teplinskiy took over as the commander of the country's airborne troops.
Putin has also taken aim at Deputy Defence Minister Yevkurov, who, along with his War HQ, was captured by a vengeful Prigozhin.
However, he himself has not been seen since he headed off to Belarus after his exile following his aborted 'coup' on June 23.
He managed to strike a deal with Putin after a 36-hour battle that saw Wagner forces make it within 125 miles of Russia.
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