Top Russian security officials think the war in Ukraine is "lost," according to an expert.
These officials are now preparing themselves for a post-Putin Russia, said Bellingcat's Christo Grozev.
Some of them are already looking for opportunities to take their families out of Russia, Grozev said, per Metro.
Top Russian security officials think the war in Ukraine is "lost," suggesting that Vladimir Putin's regime might be coming to an end, according to an expert on Russia-related security threats.
The "informed elite" within the security forces "understand that the war is lost," said Bellingcat's lead Russia investigator Christo Grozev in an interview with Radio Liberty, per Metro.
To have a chance of winning the war, Grozev said, the Russian president would need full mobilization but this would cause problems for him at home. Mass mobilization would lead to a "social explosion" in Russia, Grozev added, according to Metro.
There are those in Putin's inner circle who may pressure him to use nuclear or chemical weapons, Grozev continued, but others will say "enough is enough." These people would say "it is better not to waste another 10,000 lives of our soldiers and officers," Grozev said, per Metro.
Although the exact numbers are unavailable, it is estimated that thousands of Russian servicemen have died in the country's brutal offensive on Ukraine. According to the UK defense ministry, Russia has lost a third of its forces.
Western officials say Russia, facing military setbacks, is losing momentum as the war in Ukraine goes on.
Grozev said that security officials with the FSB, who know how many Russian soldiers have died, think Putin is losing his grip on power. 'These are those parts of the security forces who know the dangers for the regime, and they themselves are now preparing their future," he said, per Metro.
A number of officials from the FSB and GRU are preparing for a post-Putin Russia, according to the expert. "Some of them are looking for an opportunity to take their families out of Russia," Grozev said.
Last week, Ukraine's military intelligence chief told Sky News that a coup to overthrow Putin is already underway. "It is impossible to stop it," said Major General Kyrylo Budanov.
Insider previously reported that the grievances that typically motivate a coup against a dictator are in place — a struggling economy, military setbacks, and floundering morale. However, Putin has spent decades making his regime coup-proof, an expert told Insider.
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