Vladimir Putin and his friends are preparing to flee Russia if his army is defeated in Ukraine, according to a Telegram channel that claims to come from inside the Kremlin.
As his Donbass offensive stalls, Ukraine prepares to retake Kherson and its economy collapses, the Russian dictator is “aware of the possibility of a sudden change of mood in the country”.
Last week, General SVR reported that the 69-year-old suffered “severe nausea” overnight, with medics at his bedside for about three hours.
Following this report, they claim that “Putin himself and his entourage are preparing evacuation plans from Russia”.
Any plane carrying Putin and his family out of Russia is believed to be heading for the Syrian dictatorship, the closest friendly state and whose leader, Bashar al-Assad, bailed out Putin by intervening in the Syrian civil war in 2015.
However, any flight from Russia to Syria would have to cross the airspace of NATO member Turkey.
Vladimir Putin and his friends prepare to flee Russia if his army is defeated in Ukraine
It is believed that any plane carrying Putin and his family out of Russia could be heading for the Syrian dictatorship, which dictator Bashar al-Assad (pictured left) Putin bailed out by intervening in the Syrian civil war in 2015
If Turkey’s strongman, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, refused permission for the plane carrying Putin and his family to enter his airspace, it would effectively sabotage the quickest escape route and perhaps the alone of the Russian tyrant.
Erdogan and Putin enjoy a complex relationship, having been friends and foes on several occasions over the past decade as each leader tries to navigate their country through a difficult geopolitical quarter.
Iran is another regional power – and Western enemy – that would be interested in Putin’s fate.
“In principle, it is advantageous for Iran and Turkey to keep the Russian president in exile in reserve, using him, depending on the case, as leverage or as bargaining chip,” the channel said.
Although Turkey is a member of the Western military alliance, under Erdogan’s leadership the country has charted its own diplomatic course in international relations.
Earlier this month, Putin met with his Turkish and Iranian counterparts in Tehran, ostensibly to discuss Syria.
It is no exaggeration to imagine that Erdogan and Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi discussed in private the possibility of Putin seeking asylum in the event of a coup or revolution at home.
Putin, met 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 foes on several occasions over the past decade as each leader tries to navigate their country through difficult geopolitical times
Meanwhile, Ukrainian forces reportedly gained momentum yesterday near the occupied city of Kherson.
The airstrikes destroyed several bridges, leaving the remaining Russian troops isolated, and a counter-offensive to retake the only major city Russia managed to capture is expected in the coming weeks.
Back home for Putin, Yale experts say Russia is losing the economic war with the West and its economy is in catastrophic and irreversible decline.
Russia is on the ropes, with companies shrinking and sanctions catastrophically crippling their economy, they argue.
Every sector of the Russian economy is in trouble – its imports and exports are down and its allies are not helping, and in some cases actively profiting.
Given the cataclysmic state of the Russian economy, it’s no wonder Putin is considering retirement in Syria.
But even then, it is questionable whether he will receive the medical care he needs.
The Russian military has used the Antonivskiy Bridge over the Dnipro River as a key resupply route to Kherson, now destroyed by Ukrainian missiles as they prepare a counteroffensive
The General SVR channel, which claims to be run by a former Russian Foreign Intelligence Service officer, said earlier this week: “Putin on the night of Friday July 22 to Saturday July 23 needed urgent medical attention.”
“Around 1 a.m., 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 were 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 apartments.”
He claimed a decision had been made that at certain events this week “he will be replaced by a double”.
The body double theory was backed by Ukraine’s military intelligence chief, who speculated that a “body double” of Vladimir Putin could have been used for his summit arrival in Tehran.
While the Russian leader looked embarrassed as he descended the steps of his presidential plane in Tehran, Ukrainian sources noted that he moved unusually quickly and was more alert than in previous public appearances.
The Russian Prime Minister looked animated as he waved to the waiting party, before removing his jacket and climbing into a heavily armored limousine.
It was only the second time Putin had been abroad since launching his brutal invasion of Ukraine five months ago.
General SVR previously claimed that Putin suffered from a range of serious illnesses, including cancer, Parkinson’s disease and schizoaffective disorder.