A former top official with the CIA thinks Russian President Vladimir Putin could be assassinated by members of his own inner circle over his botched invasion of Ukraine.
Daniel Hoffman, a retired CIA Moscow station chief, said if Putin’s advisers turn on him, they’ll take him out with a speedy, fatal hit.
“These guys that are going to do it are going to be so secret about it so that Putin doesn’t find them and kill them first,” Hoffman opined to The Daily Beast last week. “It’ll happen all of a sudden. And he’ll be dead.”
The ex-spy said the assassins would use stealth and efficiency to kill the Russian leader.
“Nobody’s gonna ask, ‘Hey Vladimir, would you like to leave?’ No. It’s a f***ing hammer to the head and he’s dead,” Hoffman said. “Or it’s time to go to the sanatorium. They schwack him for it. That’s what they’ll do.”
Hoffman mused that the top three candidates behind a potential assassination plot would be:
• Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, an Army general.
• Nikolai Patrushev, secretary of the Kremlin’s Security Council and a former intelligence officer.
• Alexander Bortnikov, director of the Federal Security Service, Russia’s domestic intelligence agency.
Any of these three top officials would probably want to take over if Putin were out of the picture, Hoffman said.
Putin himself has survived five assassination attempts since 2002, according to the U.K.’s Mirror. So it’s likely he’s very prepared to foil another one.
There are undoubtedly factions both within and outside the Russian government that are considering or conspiring to kill Putin.
However, such a short-sighted “solution” is not the panacea that simple-minded armchair foreign-policy “experts” might think it is. If Putin were assassinated, it would spark unfettered chaos in Russia.
Whatever your opinion of the Russian strongman, he is very popular among his countrymen. Killing him could ignite mass rioting and protests.
Second, no world leader could — or should — accept the legitimacy of a foreign peer who has risen to his dubious leadership by killing his opponent (or by rigging elections).
As disgusted as many Americans are with Joe Biden‘s failed presidency, assassinating him would erode the United States’ standing in the world and annihilate the moral high ground it has taken for decades. Killing your political adversaries is not the answer.
Third, there’s no guarantee that getting rid of Putin would end Russia’s invasion of Ukraine or improve its relations with the international community, especially in Western Europe.
He could easily be succeeded by someone who’s even more tyrannical and obstinate than he is.
As a reminder, look at what happened in Iraq and Iran, which became even more terroristic and extreme after their leaders were assassinated.
In a similar vein, leftists and RINOs who hated President Donald Trump screeched that “he had to go” because “anyone would be better than him.”
Then Biden was installed. And look at the mess we’re in now.
It’s devastating and tragic — not only for the United States but for the world.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.