Russian President Vladimir Putin survived an assassination attempt two months ago, a senior Ukrainian military official said on Monday.
Major General Kyrylo Budanov, head of Ukraine’s Defense Intelligence, said a “failed attempt” on the Russian strongman’s life occurred in the Caucasus shortly after Russia invaded the nation on February 24, Ukrainska Pravda reported.
“There was an attempt to assassinate Putin,” Budanov told the outlet. “He was even attacked, it is said, by representatives of the Caucasus, not long ago.”
The Caucasus, also known as Caucasia, is a region between the Black and Caspian seas comprising Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and parts of southern Russia.
Budanov said the “absolutely failed” assassination attempt took place in an unspecified region there about two months ago.
“I repeat, this attempt was unsuccessful,” Budanov continued. “There was no publicity about this event, but it took place.”
The interview with Budanov will be broadcast in full on Tuesday, Ukrainska Pravda reported.
The claim, which could not immediately be independently verified, comes amid reports that the 69-year-old Putin recently underwent surgery to remove fluid from his abdomen as his health reportedly worsened.
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An oligarch close to the Kremlin reportedly said Putin is “very sick with blood cancer” during an 11-minute recording obtained by New Lines magazine.
Budanov told Sky News earlier this month that he was “optimistic” about turning the tide against Russia in mid-August, which would lead to Putin being ousted from power at the end of the year in a coup in the Kremlin. .
“Eventually it will lead to the change of leadership of the Russian Federation,” Budanov said. “This process has already been launched and they are moving down that path.”
In 2017, Putin revealed to director Oliver Stone in “The Putin Interviews” that he had survived at least five assassination attempts, but claimed he was not worried about his safety.
Meanwhile, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky on Monday called for “maximum” sanctions against Russia during a virtual speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos. He also wants the complete withdrawal of foreign companies from Russia in the midst of the war and says that Ukraine needs at least 5 billion dollars in monthly financing.
“This is what the sanctions should look like: they should be maximum, so that Russia and any other potential aggressor who wants to wage a brutal war against their neighbor clearly know the immediate consequences of their actions,” Zelensky said through a translator.
“The amount of work is huge: we have more than half a billion dollars in losses, tens of thousands of facilities were destroyed,” Zelensky continued. “We need to rebuild entire cities and industries.”
with post wires