Russian President Vladimir Putin has presided over several high-profile assassinations, including the poisoning of Opposition Leader Alexei Navalny.
Now, the national security bureaucrat Nikolai Patrushev — a close ally of Putin — may have suffered an assassination attempt himself.
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The Daily Star, a British tabloid, has obtained a report from a Telegram channel called General SVR, which claims to be in contact with the Kremlin.
While in his Moscow home, Patrushev was exposed to a poison through his skin, the report says.
According to the Daily Star, the Telegram channel said:
Information about both the assassination attempt itself and the investigation into this assassination attempt is kept in strict secrecy. It is known that Nikolai Patrushev felt unwell in the evening after work, almost immediately after he went home. Security quickly worked, immediately calling a team of doctors to him…
After rendering assistance, Patrushev was taken home in a stable condition. The results of his analysis confirmed that the toxic substance was a synthetic poison…[Patrushev] was saved by timely medical care and, probably, by an insufficiently high concentration of the poisonous substance that entered the body through the skin…
Who is behind the assassination attempt, what are the motives and how it became possible in general to organise an actually completed assassination attempt on a representative of such a high level of power, remains to be seen.
General SVR described the incident as “only the beginning of a big redistribution in the elites.”
“Knowing the details of what happened, we can say with confidence that it was not a staging,” the channel continued. “Over time, we will publish detailed material on the topic of this assassination attempt, with rather interesting details.”
Patrushev has served in Russia’s intelligence community since 1999. He’s been described as one architect of the war in Ukraine, and he’s been sanctioned by the U.S.
Putin reportedly learned of the attack only after “Patrushev’s life was no longer in danger” — despite Patrushev’s closeness to the Russian president.
No further details have emerged, and some observers are already questioning the report.
The U.K. Chief of Defense Staff Tony Radakin warned against “wishful thinking” when discussing reports of illness and assassination in the upper echelons of the Putin administration. He was giving general advice without citing any specific reports.
“Nobody at the top [of the Russian government] has the motivation to challenge President Putin,” Radakin said on the BBC, according to Insider.
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Plus, the Daily Star cited only one source: a Telegram channel that claims insider knowledge of the Kremlin. In other words, the report was based entirely on double hearsay.
The Putin administration has been the subject of titillating rumors since the start of the war. It was claimed in May that Putin himself was suffering from a blood cancer.
The Horn editorial team