Vladimir Putin and his friends are making preparations to flee Russia should his army be defeated in Ukraine, according to a Telegram channel that claims to come from inside the Kremlin.
With his Donbas offensive stalling, Ukraine preparing to re-capture Kherson and his economy crumbling, the Russian dictator is ‘aware of the possibility of a sharp change of mood in the country.’
Last week, the General SVR channel reported that the 69-year-old had suffered from ‘severe nausea’ overnight, with doctors at his bedside for around three hours.
Following on from that report, they claim that ‘Putin himself and his entourage are preparing plans for evacuation from Russia.’
It is thought that any plane carrying Putin and his family out of Russia would head to fellow dictatorship Syria, the nearest friendly state and whose leader, Bashar al-Assad, Putin bailed out by intervening in the Syrian civil war in 2015.
Any flight from Russia to Syria, however, would have to fly through the airspace of Turkey, a NATO member.
Vladimir Putin and his friends are reported to be making preparations to flee Russia should his army be defeated in Ukraine
It is thought that any plane carrying Putin and his family out of Russia might head to fellow dictatorship Syria, whose dictator Bashar al-Assad (pictured left) Putin bailed out by intervening in the Syrian civil war in 2015
Were Turkey’s strongman leader, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, to refuse permission to the plane carrying Putin and his family to enter his airspace, it would effectively scupper the Russian tyrant’s quickest and perhaps only getaway route.
Erdogan and Putin have a complex relationship, having been friends and enemies at various times over the past decade as each leader tries to navigate their country through a challenging geopolitical neighbourhood.
Iran is another regional power – and Western foe – that would be interested in Putin’s fate.
‘In principle, it is beneficial for Iran and Turkey to keep the Russian president in exile in reserve, using him, depending on the situation, as a lever or as a bargaining chip,’ the channel states.
Although Turkey is a member of the Western military alliance, under Erdogan’s leadership the country has cut its own diplomatic path in international relations.
Earlier this month Putin met with his Turkish and Iranian counterparts in Tehran, ostensibly to discuss Syria.
It is not too much of a stretch to imagine that Erdogan and Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi discussed in private the possibility of Putin requiring asylum from a coup or revolution at home.
Putin, met with Iranian president Ebrahim Raisi, and Turkish president Erdogan in Tehran – to leaders who would have a strong interest if Putin needed asylum
Erdogan (left) and Putin (right) have a complex relationship, having been friends and enemies at various times over the past decade as each leader tries to navigate their country through challenging geopolitical times
Meanwhile, Ukrainian forces were said yesterday to be gaining momentum near the occupied city of Kherson.
Air strikes have destroyed several bridges leaving the remaining Russian troops cut off, and a counteroffensive to re-take the only major city that Russia managed to capture is expected in the coming weeks.
Back home for Putin, Yale experts state that Russia is losing the economic war with the West and its economy is in catastrophic and irrevocable decline.
Russia is on the ropes, with business in retreat and sanctions catastrophically crippling their economy, they claim.
Every single sector of the Russian economy is in trouble – both its imports and its exports are down and its allies are not helping, and in some cases actively taking advantage.
With the cataclysmic state of the Russian economy in mind, it is no wonder that Putin might be considering retirement in Syria.
But even then it is questionable whether he will receive the medical care that he reportedly needs.
The Russian army has used the Antonivskiy bridge over the Dnipro River as a key resupply route into Kherson, now blown up by Ukrainian missiles as they prepare a counteroffensive
The General SVR channel, which claims to be run by a former officer from Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service, said earlier this week: ‘Putin on the night of Friday July 22 to Saturday July 23 needed urgent medical care.
‘At about 1am, the medical workers on duty at [his] residence were summoned to the president. Putin complained of severe nausea.
‘Twenty minutes later, an additional team of doctors with the president’s attending physicians was called.
‘It is known that doctors provided assistance and were near Putin for three hours, and after the president’s condition improved, they left his chambers.’
It claimed a decision was made that in some events this week ‘he will be replaced by a double’.
The body double theory was backed up by head of Ukrainian military intelligence, who speculated that a Vladimir Putin body ‘double’ may have been used for his arrival at the Tehran summit.
While the Russian leader looked awkward as he came down the steps of his presidential plane in Tehran, Ukrainian sources noted he moved unusually quickly and was more alert than in prior public appearances.
The Russian premier looked animated when greeting the waiting party, before removing his jacket and clambering into a heavily armoured limousine.
It was only the second time Putin had been abroad since launching his brutal invasion of Ukraine five months ago.
The General SVR channel has previously claimed that Putin is suffering from a series of serious illnesses including cancer, Parkinson’s disease and a schizoaffective disorder.