UKRAINE has claimed that an elite Russian military unit has been deployed to bolster security in Moscow amid fears of a coup ousting the paranoid Vladimir Putin.
Kiev’s intelligence officials informed local media about unconfirmed reports that Putin’s fearsome ODON unit of the Russian National Guard had begun rounding up and arresting other soldiers.
Russian media did not publish such reports as Kiev’s espionage claimed that “all military units around Moscow have been placed on high alert”.
Ukrainian officials also claimed traffic in the city center was halted – but so far there have been no such reports from the city of 12 million.
It came just hours after Putin’s prized bridge from Russia to annexed Crimea was blown up in a suspected attack by Ukraine.
However, Kyiv has not taken responsibility – and instead some officials have sowed the seeds that the attack may have been the result of “internal fighting” in Russia.
Ukrainian reports of the ODON Guard entering Moscow could be yet another attempt to sow division among Putin’s fragmented ruling elite and military officials.
ODON troops – officially called the Separate Operational Purpose Division – are an internal security division of the Russian National Guard.
The special rapid deployment unit consists of around 18,000 men and is headed by Major General Nikolai Kuznetsov.
Kiev intelligence claimed that ODON forces were stationed in Moscow and “numerous arrests, detentions and blockades took place”.
Again, none of these claims have been independently verified and have not been addressed by state media in Russia.
However, it comes at a time of growing disagreement over Putin’s disastrous war in Ukraine.
Frustration seems to be growing at Vlad’s failure as Russia has made no significant progress in the war for months.
With far-reaching offensives, the Ukrainians are consistently at the forefront and have recaptured areas in the east and south.
It is believed that the war could even be “over by Christmas” as troops could reset Ukraine’s borders to how they were before the invasion.
Putin is under pressure to do something to prevent the war from becoming a total failure.
And with the iconic Kerch Bridge a smoking ruin, the prospect that Ukrainians might even move to Crimea is raised.
Crimea has been under Russian control since 2014.
Putin is reportedly fearful of the possibility that he could be ousted and killed, amid murmurs of growing discontent among the Russian elite.
With tens of thousands of soldiers dead and his army collapsing, Vlad’s ultimate fate now seems tied to the war in Ukraine.
But before he gives up, Put might hit the nuke button.
Putin’s favorite propagandists are already calling for a tough response to the Kerch Bridge attack—from all-out war to nuclear attacks on cities.
With all this added to the military embarrassments and elite frustration, how long does Vlad stay?
According to US intelligence sources, a disgruntled member of Putin’s inner circle has voiced his disagreement over the handling of his chaotic Ukraine war.
In the clearest sign yet of growing turmoil in Russia’s top echelons, the Putin ally has reportedly voiced grievances about mismanagement of the war effort and mistakes by military chiefs.
The information was deemed so serious that it was reportedly included in Biden’s daily intelligence briefing, The Washington Post reported.
A Western intelligence official said: “Since the beginning of the occupation, we have seen growing concern from a number of Putin’s inner circle.
“Our assessments suggest they are particularly affected by recent Russian losses, misguided directions, and extensive military deficiencies.”
A second senior Western official said the simmering tensions were “consistent with the course of the campaign for the Russians and the atmosphere in the Kremlin.”
“There are a lot of people who believe this is not going well or is the right course of action,” they added.
Russia today launched a so-called “revenge” missile attack on Zaporizhia, killing 17 people, including a child.
The Kremlin had previously warned that any attack on the Kerch Strait would trigger a “judgment day” – fueling fears of further escalation in Ukraine.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/6401642/ukraine-claims-putin-guard-coup/ Ukrainian intelligence claims Putin’s elite guard was dispatched to Moscow to “round up and arrest soldiers” as Vlad fears a coup