“… Putin’s Inner Circle Could Kill Him.”

“… three people close to Putin pose potential threats to him: the Kremlin security council chief, Nikolai Patrushev; Federal Security Service head Alexander Bortnikov; and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu. 

“Nobody’s gonna ask, ‘Hey Vladimir, would you like to leave?’ No. It’s a [expletive] hammer to the head and he’s dead. Or it’s time to go to the sanatorium,” Hoffman said. “They schwack him for it. That’s what they’ll do.” 

However, former CIA officer Ronald Marks, now a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, noted that Putin has “done a nice job of getting rid of those who aren’t on his side,” and said Putin could be safe if the agents protecting him, known as the “siloviki,” stay loyal.

“I think he’s OK as long as the siloviki are on his side,” Marks said.

Marks also said that public opinion has not reached a point where it will influence the siloviki, though Marks said that that could happen if widespread unrest over the invasion of Ukraine spreads in Russia. 

“The Russians are very sensitive, more than they would say, to internal opinion within Russia,” Marks said. “It’s a country that will explode, but it takes a long time. … when you do see the explosion it’s going to come around the economics. Once they can’t get food, once things get rough like that, then you’re going to see people in the streets.””

Comment: I am inclined to think that VP is likely to depart the scene in this fashion. pl

Former CIA Officer: Putin’s Inner Circle Could Kill Him | Newsmax.com

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40 Responses to “… Putin’s Inner Circle Could Kill Him.”

  1. Notfakebot says:

    It has happened to other Russian leaders in the past, but he may have cancer or another terminal illness. The fact he called for the invasion of Ukraine suggests there was urgency to fulfill his legacy.

    Also, other potential leaders may prove more inclined towards the use of nuclear weapons.

    • Pat Lang says:

      I doubt they would be. It has been explained to them just what the SIOP would do to Russia.

      • James says:


        I understand what you are saying but I have to wonder if the Russians can “slice the salami”. That is – would the SIOP be implemented if the Russians nuked Warsaw? Would it be implemented if the Russians did an EMP burst over Australia?

  2. Jovan P says:

    Colonel, may I ask, what do you think of Tucker Carlson?

    I know you don’t like his stance towards the conflict in Ukraine (for me he’s a little bit too anti-chinese), but after listening to him the past few months, he seems like a man of integrity. Although I assume that some in the US don’t like his open discussion about the problems at home, it seems to me he is asking the right questions and doing it in the best interest of USA.

    • Pat Lang says:

      Too full of himself.

      • TV says:

        That goes with having your own highest-rated TV show.
        “Humility”, that’s a funny word. What does it mean?

      • Bill Roche says:

        Carlson was not “too full of himself” when he began. See what the sirens of fame do to our ego. When a performer begins thinking … “it’s my show”, the pride of personality assaults logic, and the broadcast becomes well, just another show. Pity, I grew to like him.

  3. Whitewall says:

    Back in the USSR days when a public figure went missing, we were told the person had been unwell but recovering at his dacha in the south.

  4. JK/AR says:

    Well if his “pals” don’t off him there’s always the cancer we’ve been hearing about since at least 2020 that’s “gonna kill him in two years” – Or maybe he’s got that dread disease Sam Clemens contracted visiting Egypt.


    Then again maybe this time the CIA is got something right.

    • leith says:

      JK –

      What is that dread Egyptian disease that Mark Twain caught? Did he come down with an middle eastern version of Montezuma’s Revenge?

      I thought he got the melancholy when he was there? In his first and greatest book, the travelogue, he wrote damned sadly and humorlessly about the Sphinx and thinking of the many millennia of war and famine that statue had witnessed. At least as I recall, but that was soon after our own war between north and south.

      • JK/AR says:

        Well Leith,

        You’re familiar with the ol’ Mark Twain quip

        “The rumors of my death are greatly exaggerated”?

        That dreaded disease.

        • leith says:

          JK –

          You were on point. Here I was hoping Putin was coming down with e-coli or the salmonella squirts, or something worse. Guess I need some of those ‘smart’ vitamins to clear up the brain fog.

  5. jld says:

    This seems a gratuitous fancy of Russophobes.
    Yes, these things happen but it has to benefit someone with some certainty, so WHO would benefit and HOW?

  6. Fred says:

    What is the likely change in foreign policy of the western nations towards the Russian Federation after such an internal regime change event? The TTG view of a return all territory including Crimea; the removal of sanctions; reentry into the SWIFT system, return of seized assets, or some other negotiated conditions?

  7. KjHeart says:

    Question : Has Vlad been seen since that ‘rush to the Kremlin’ on June 25th late (I want to say around 11 PM)? just curious

    looks like NATO formally invited Sweden and Finland to join….

  8. Fourth and Long says:

    You have to regard the source with skepticism. The CIA may be pushing this angle not because of any opposition to Putin per se, but because, due to their former director Brennan who was a member of the communist party America, they are angling for a communist restoration in Russia. If you think that’s an attempt at humor on my part – Okay fine, but then look at the number of those people working for CNN and MSNBC as providers of expert commentary.

  9. d74 says:

    I guess his companions are full of compassion. You know the Russian soul…
    So they’ll let him die of his three fatal diseases. Three, maybe more actually, but I stopped counting.
    Of course, they are the ones who infected the unfortunate Putin.
    Among these three, there is a fulminating cancer. Not long to wait.

    I doubt we’ll get much out of it. None of his successors are pro-Western. They all seem to me to be rabid slavo-whatsit. Let’s not expect any sympathy, Ukraine even less.
    As for the other side of the coin, Russia knows how to suffer. And with or without Putin, they will suffer.

    What about Medvedev? He has become a true hardcore hawk.

    • TTG says:


      I agree with your observation that none of his possible successors are pro-Western. Patrushev may be the one being groomed to take over after goes. He holds at least as hard a line against the West as Putin, maybe even harder. Given Russia is more a security state than a military state, Patrushev as a successor makes sense.

      The war against Ukraine won’t stop unless those in the Kremlin sense they are losing the people. And it’s got to get a hell of a lot worse for that to happen. As you said, the Russian people know how to suffer. Can you imagine them whining about the equivalent of five dollar a gallon gas? I was paying that in Germany 30 years ago.

      • tom67 says:

        Politically, the hardest opponents of Putin are far to the right of him. Even Navalny, although he is a darling of the West. Putin is holding the whole show together and he is tough. Son of hardscrabble parents who rose up through the KGB. He is a cautious MF and has calculated very well before getting into Ukraine. Our woke idiots have paved the way for him. Deindustrialisation and LBGT education. But he has China at his back and it is time the West realizes that. Compared to China, Russia is a midget. Time the West realizes that. But it won´t. It would rather prefer freaking out about Russia instead
        of facing the reality of China. And I don´t mean in a military way. I mean in the deindustrialisation, the financialisation of the economy and the utter decadence which is all to China´s advantage. Case in point is the latest G7 comunique.After having handed free money to India and China who simply re- sold Russian oil with a mark up to Europe, now they want to put a cap on Russia´s oil revenue by decreeing a world wide upper limit on Russian oil prices. How crazy can you get?
        Our woke elites have lost all contact with reality . It would be better to cut ones losses and await another time. Instead they are doubling down and in the end ultimately Russia will further strenghten China. I have read Kissingers memoirs about the Vietnam war. I know people call him amoral and what not. But he was a realist who knew that some semblance of order was much preferrable to the inevitable chaos that a sudden retreat from Vietnam would have caused. Therefore the bombing of Cambodia. The Donbass is a lost cause just as Vietnam was. Ti

        • JK/AR says:

          Oh Tom67, you’re such a downer.

          Word on the street is Biden’s about to make a Middle Eastern Tour – We, the American people can only hope he’s gonna be taking along his most qualified and esteemed advisor Hunter Biden.

          I mean, if anybody knows how to solve er, *stuff it’s got to be Hunter Biden.

          ‘Energy issues’ & Hunter? Snap his fingers and that’s done. ‘Getting’r due Justice done on MBS’ head over the Khashoggi mess – easy peasy. Then – after all that’s done Iran will be a piece of cake.

          And then – rebuilding Yemen some centuries hence will only in hindsight be seen, as the model Biden & Son worked off of to rebuild Ukraine.

          Place your bets Gentlemen.

          Er – not so much on Biden’s “achieving a whole bunch of Middle East stuff” but rather, there’s elections coming up in Israel.

          (But there is good news on the homefront – the White House press secretary renewed the news that ‘inflation will be transitory.’ So there is that.)

      • Fourth and Long says:

        One guy to watch is not mentioned in this post – the Chechen dude. That has always sounded extremely unlikely to me, bordering on absurdity, but I have a friend who has been over there for ages who always brings it up whenever the topic of succession arises. I disagree but he points to two things. A) The inclination to use extreme violence. B) The changing demographics favoring the Isalmic minorities. I’ve managed to convert him to my point of view just a bit, but only so much as to decrease the estimated odds he gives, not rule it out.

        • tom67 says:

          Chechnya is already independent in anything but name. Kadirov sent killers who gunned down his opponents right in the heart of Moscow and then Putin summoned him for a dressing down. That was it! The FSB (Russian FBI), the feared secret police cannot execute warrants in Chechnya without Kadirows ok. For now Kadirow and his Chechens play the role the Mamelukes played in Egypt in the middle ages. But differently to the Mamelukes I don´t see Kadyrow taking over the Kremlin. The Chechens are widely dispised by ethnic Russians and you can´t rule such a vast country by fear alone.
          I rather think that Chechnya and the whole Muslim Caucasus will head for the exit once Putin is gone and the rest of the country tires of paying huge sums to keep places like Chechnya quiet.

          • James says:

            Kadirov works for Putin and has been doing a good job for Putin. Of course Putin let him gun down a rival – in Moscow or wherever.

            The top Siloviki are ethnically Russian – they are going to decide who succeeds Putin. It’s not going to be a Chechen. That would be like Bibi picking a Palestinian to be his successor. Please.

  10. We are all Lindsey Graham now.

  11. Deap says:

    California’s inner circle is who going to kill us. We don’t need Putin to do this to us. And this is a “term limit” state- look what that got us. It will do us no good to kill Putin either. We are falling on our own swords out west.

    The latest High Stalin moves coming from inside our own US borders – California legislators are enthusiastically making lists and checking it twice to sanction any one they don’t like, who they alone claim supports an “insurrection” or spreads election untruths.

    This is serious and this is damn scary. I worry not about Putin; I worry deeply about Gavin Newsom and his entire super-majority Democrats right here in our own country.
    When there are no longer partisan checks and balances, things quickly get extremely unbalanced.

    For the past two decades, after term limits and Democrat crammed down “election reform”, California became a mono-party state and now exists under a super-power super majority of elected Democrats.


    • SRW says:

      And here I thought the Republican problem in CA was due to Gov. Pete Wilson’s rabid anti immigrant rhetoric. Not too smart in a state that has more foreign born than any other. Don’t know what it was in ’94 but in 2019, the most current year of data, 27% of California’s population was foreign born, more than double the percentage in the rest of the country.

      From the LA Times: ‘If Wilson is renowned for one thing, however, it is Proposition 187, the controversial ballot measure that sought to stem illegal immigration and address its costs by cutting off state services, including healthcare and public education, to those in the country illegally.
      Wilson didn’t draft the measure, nor did he place it on the November 1994 ballot. But he became the foremost champion and central character — or villain — in a narrative that goes something like this:
      His reelection apparently doomed, Wilson seized on the provocative initiative and, through a racist campaign, tapped the latent bigotry of Californians to rescue his flailing candidacy, a Pyrrhic victory that has badly damaged Republicans by alienating Latinos in the state and nationwide ever since.’

      Sounds like he was a warm up for the Trumpster.

      I myself would not want to live in CA as it is too crowded for me and I’m not into dodging wildfires but you have to admit it’s an economic powerhouse with a $47 Billion General Fund Surplus in 2021.

  12. leith says:

    Patrushev is Putin’s closest advisor, and is reported to be the key person influencing Putin on Ukraine. He has been described as Patrushev, “most dangerous man in Russia” because of his “paranoid conspiracy-driven mindset”. He is also a guy that reportedly believes psychic mindreaders.

    Bortnikov is on Putin’s bad side since it was his guys in the FSB who misread RU support within Ukraine. So he might be the one to organize a defenestration. Or he has access to lots of varieties of toxins.

    IMHO Shoigu would be in on any coup. But they might hang the frame on him.

  13. Polish Janitor says:

    I don’t think it is a conceivable scenario to one day wake up and see Putin is ‘novichoked’ or died of lead poisoning one of these days! The chances of Iraq becoming a liberal democracy is higher than Putin’s inner circle suddenly turn on him and explain to me why would any of these thugs do it? what would be the motivation or the means to achieve this herculean feat?

    I disagree with TTG on the idea that the Russian security state polity care about public opinion and all vis-à-vis the current state of Russian affairs. Due to the nature of the political dynamics in Russia no change can be expected from the bottom of the society. The security apparatus has taken care of that! So far Putin Inc. has managed to survive mostly because of China’s uninterrupted purchase of its oil and gas and steel etc., and the consolidation of the Sino-Russia alliance against the West is taking shape everyday. Only God knows how to rid this devil incarnate from this earth!

  14. Personanongrata says:

    “… Putin’s Inner Circle Could Kill Him.”

    Will this occur before or after Russia runs out of cruise missiles?

    • Worth Pointing Out says:

      They coup plotters will send a cruise missile through his Kremlin window.

      It’s the only way to be sure….

  15. Worth Pointing Out says:

    “Former CIA Officer: Putin’s Inner Circle Could Kill Him”

    Well, yeah, and Biden’s Inner Circle could kill him.
    Just as Johnson’s Inner Circle could kill him.
    And Xi’s Inner Circle? Of course, hammer-to-the-head.
    Macron could be killed by his Inner Circle, as could Scholz.
    Don’t get me started about Zelensky’s Inner Circle.

    I mean, honestly, what’s the point of such articles?
    Is Daniel Hoffman privy to intel reports that you and I are not?
    Is Ronald Marks doing anything more than shooting the breeze?

    Because if they aren’t – and I’d wager they are not – then all this amounts to is media masturbation and dreams of death-by-wish-fulfillment and is unworthy of the column inches that have been devoted to it.

    • Richard Ong says:

      The article starts off with “three people close to Putin pose potential threats to him.” It doesn’t get any more specific than that. Popular unrest sometime. Food shortages definitely possible. Meteor strikes never popular.

      Yes, Putin could become unpopular. He’s not unpopular now but he could become unpopular. At which time it won’t go well for him.

      • Worth Pointing Out says:

        A point that is well taken, but also a point that is equally as applicable to every other leader of every other country on the planet.

        IMHO there is more likely to be food shortages in the major US cities than in the major Russian cities. But I don’t jump up and down about hammers-to-the-head of American politicians.

        “He’s not unpopular now but he could become unpopular.”

        Ahem, you mean, like Yeltsin?

        “At which time it won’t go well for him.”

        What did happen to Yeltsin?
        Was it a hammer to the head?
        Or a bullet in the brain-pan?

        Or…. neither. Just an orderly transition from an unpopular drunkard to a populist leader?

        Anyone remember?

  16. Jake says:

    Sounds like desperation in NATO circles. Their entire plan of leading Russia into a war to bleed the country dry is going south. Instead, the NATO countries themselves are on the verge of collapse. And discovering that their intel sucks, and that the prepared for the wrong type of war. So what do you do? You tell the children stories to keep their hopes up.

    • James says:

      I would say NATO’s plan is going pretty well. Russia is bogged down. I argue with TTG all the time because I am more sympathetic to Russia than he is but I have to admit that he called it right. Russia is bogged down and that means that Russia is getting bled.

      • Bill Roche says:

        Both Russian and Ukrainian bullocks are being bled. Forty two million Ukrainians and 140 million Russians. and both know how to suffer. Ukrainians no longer accept the ‘l’ill Russian” sobriquet (in fact they hate the Russian) but c’mon man, who has more blood to bleed. Alas, Ukraine can’t last. Unless, unless, did anyone read that America is sending “elements” of the 101st to Poland and the Czech Republic? Madness, this is all madness.

  17. Steve says:

    Maybe we should open a book on who will be whacked first, Putin or Zelensky. I know where my money would be given the threats the latter has been receiving since he came to power on his “peace” mandate.

  18. Babeltuap says:

    Why would they kill him? The Russian economy is doing better than ever not to mention they turned all the McDonald’s into Russian burger joints. If anyone needs to be concerned it’s Biden with barbarians flowing in from the southern border. Most of South America has turned to communism except for Brazil. We don’t even have enough troops to fight having just lowered the standard to high school dropouts welcomed. Good luck fighting with quitters.

  19. A.Pols says:

    Wish in one hand, $#!* in the other, see which one fills up first…

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