Vladimir Putin’s death could spark a brutal internal struggle inside Russia helping Ukraine’s war effort, according to a top official in Kyiv.
Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Mykhailo Podolyak reportedly said that while Putin’s death wouldn’t end the war, it would accelerate Ukraine’s victory.
Eastern European news outlet NEXTA quoted him as saying: “[Putin’s death] will trigger certain coup processes in Russia: elites will start killing each other in the struggle for power.”
The prediction comes amid speculation over the dictator’s health after Russian sources claimed Putin suffered a cardiac arrest.
A Telegram channel believed to be run by a former Kremlin insider claimed he was found “lying on the floor, rolling his eyes”.
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The Kremlin dismissed the rumour with official spokesman Dmitry Peskov telling Russian journalists that “everything is fine with him, this is just another complete hoax”.
He also dismissed rumours that Putin was using various body doubles as “absurd and false”.
The rumour surrounding Putin’s health was far from the first of its kind – the Russian leader has been diagnosed from afar with ailments ranging from cancer to Parkinson’s.
Although all of the reports are unverified, US intelligence officials previously told Newsweek that Putin had undergone treatment for cancer in April 2022.
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Vladimir Putin makes claims about Ukrainian counteroffensive
Podolyak’s comments come as Ukrainian and Russian forces are engaged in heavy fighting across the frontline ahead of winter.
Writing on X, he described recent Russian assaults as “massive ‘meat grinder’ counteroffensives, attempting to advance at least 500 meters, for propaganda purposes”.
Although it is unclear which theatre he was referring to, Russian forces have launched massive attacks on the eastern front and have reportedly suffered catastrophic losses.
The settlement of Andriivka has emerged as a flash point for the fighting in Donetsk where Ukraine claims to have destroyed hundreds of Russian vehicles since October 10.
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