Russian secret services are investigating a plot to assassinate President Vladimir Putin ‘within their own ranks’, according to a report.
Telegram channel VChK-OGPU – which has close ties to Moscow’s security services and law enforcement agencies – said an informant had told them about an “agent” who bragged that he had been given the “task” of “removing” the dictator.
The bizarre claim came during a meeting at the Honey karaoke club in Chekhov, near Moscow, a well-known meeting point for security services, the channel reported.
The alleged agent showed the informant – named Mikhail Yurchenko, 37, an entrepreneur from the construction sector – his identity card during a “long heart-to-heart conversation about the war and future life in Russia.”
The informant “didn’t argue and changed the subject.”
Russian secret services are investigating a plot from ‘within their own ranks’ to assassinate President Vladimir Putin (pictured Wednesday), according to a report
The bizarre claim came during a meeting at Chekhov’s Honey karaoke club near Moscow, a well-known haunt of security services, the channel reported.
He became ‘haunted’ after the conversation in the karaoke club about the threat to Putin and reported it to the police, according to the channel.
“The special services have been searching for several days for the unknown person who planned to ‘remove’ Putin,” VChK-OGPU said.
‘Based on his tip, agents started investigating the situation in the Honey Club, where… you can often meet employees from different (secret) departments.’
It is known that the paranoid Putin – 71 years old on Saturday – takes his security very seriously and, according to reports, regularly changes his location and travel route.
There are also reports that he regularly uses a body double at various official events across Russia to uphold his ‘man of the people’ appearance, while in reality he hides in his various hideouts.
Russian security services are accused of witnessing and dealing with many alleged terrorist plots to justify their effectiveness.
In recent weeks, Putin has been on the road for more than several years, regularly trying to justify his war against Ukraine and launching attacks on the West.
This comes ahead of an expected announcement next month that he will seek a new six-year term in the Kremlin. There will be elections in March 2024.
Putin told students taking part in the International Financial Security Olympiad in Sochi that he had many admirers in Europe who shared his traditional values.
“I want to defend our friends,” he said. ‘We have many friends in Europe… ‘People who believe that traditional values, including the family, have died out.’
Modernizers in the West ‘behave very aggressively, especially in North America and Europe. ‘But there are many people in European countries who share our values.
‘I would say a lot. They just act calmer and don’t flaunt their opinions. That’s why I wouldn’t split everyone.
“On the contrary, I want to try to unite everyone around our platform.”
Russian special services are looking for the unnamed person who said he had been tasked with “removing” Putin. Pictured: Russia’s FSB headquarters in Moscow (archive photo)
His defense of traditional family values sparked a backlash.
One telegram channel labeled him “a divorced man who lived with his mistress and called his (adult) daughters ‘one wife’ and ‘second wife.’
He “never showed himself with his children and grandchildren” while on holiday in Siberia with a male companion.
“He has said again that in the West they are against traditional family values,” it said.
Russian newspaper Kommersant reported on Tuesday that Putin could soon announce his intention to participate in the 2024 presidential elections.
Such a move would pave the way for the Kremlin head to remain in power until 2030.
As part of a conference in November, officials suspect Putin could announce he will participate in elections in March next year, Kommersant reported, citing unidentified sources close to the presidential administration.
But the newspaper, one of Russia’s most respected, said there were other scenarios for what Putin could do at the conference and that the final decision lay with him.
Asked about the Kommersant report, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said he knew nothing of a plan to announce Putin’s bid in November.
“I don’t know anything about the presidential campaign that will be officially announced in November,” Peskov said. ‘I have no such information. I have nothing more to add.’
Putin, who won the presidency from Boris Yeltsin on the last day of 1999, has been leader longer than any other Russian ruler since Josef Stalin, even beating Leonid Brezhnev’s 18-year term.
Putin turns 71 on October 7.
While many diplomats, spies and officials have said they expect Putin to remain in power for life, there has been no confirmation of his plans for the 2024 presidential election.
Putin said last month that he would only make an announcement about his plans after parliament had called presidential elections – which by law should take place in December.
Peskov said last month that if Putin decided to run, no one would be able to compete with him.
While Putin may not face any competition for votes, the former KGB spy faces the most serious challenges any Kremlin chief has faced since Mikhail Gorbachev grappled with the crumbling Soviet Union nearly four decades ago.
The war in Ukraine has led to the biggest confrontation with the West since the 1962 Cuban missile crisis and the biggest external shock to the Russian economy in decades.
Putin faced a failed mutiny in June by Russia’s most powerful mercenary, Yevgeny Prigozhin. Prigozhin died two months later in a plane crash.
The West labels Putin a war criminal and a dictator who has led Russia into an imperialist conflict that has weakened the country and forged a Ukrainian state, while uniting the West and giving NATO a post-Soviet mission to counter to oppose Russia.
People walk past a police car on Red Square in the center of Moscow, Russia, March 20, 2023
Putin, however, is presenting the war as part of a much larger struggle with the United States, which the Kremlin elite says aims to split Russia apart, seize its natural resources and then settle scores with China.
The former Soviet spies wielding power in Moscow have repeatedly warned of the risk of a Russia-NATO conflict as the West’s post-Cold War dominance wanes, Russia puts to rest the humiliations of the collapse of the Soviet Union and China is emerging as a superpower.
The West says it does not want a conflict between NATO and Russia, but simply wants to help Ukraine defeat Russian forces.
The Kremlin says the West will never achieve Russia’s defeat in Ukraine.