Pressure is growing on the Russian President Vladimir Putin for his illegal invasion in Ukraine after it was claimed the Russian elite are plotting to push Putin out. A Russian oligarch reportedly told another that it was “better” if Putin died from the suspected disease he is suffering.
The development comes as Putin comes under the spotlight over his health with speculation mounting that he is suffering from a severe neurological disorder like Parkinson’s.
Hristo Grozev, head of investigative journalist group Bellingcat, told Ukrainian journalist Dmitry Gordon he was confident the Russian elite would force out Putin, saying: “It has to happen.
“We listened to a recording of an oligarch very close to Putin, who tells another oligarch that it is better that Putin die from … they call the disease because he destroyed them, destroys Ukraine and Russia.
“They are actively or passively considering , how to help.”
A number of key figures from Putin’s administration have stepped down and left Russia in revolt.
In late March, Anatoly Chubais, Russia’s climate envoy and a major architect of Russia’s reforms following the fall of the Soviet Union quit his position.
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Billionaire Dmytro Firtash said Putin cannot win in Ukraine. He said: “He is never going to come out victorious. No matter what happens, Russia will lose.
“It’s time to stop. There will be no victory. The longer this war takes, the worse it will be for the Russian people. Not just for the Ukrainian people.”
And wealthy Russian businessman Oleg Tinkov condemned Moscow’s “crazy war” in Ukraine, saying 90 percent of his countrymen did not support it.
Fellow oligarch Olg Deripaska in March called for peace and warned Russia would be different after the conflict which has raged since February 24.
In an interview with NBC News, Mr Firtash, 56, said he was never pro-Russian, adding: “But you have to understand that I am a businessman. And my goal is to earn money. That’s my job.”
Meanwhile, the visible and dramatic decline in Putin’s health has sparked some to question whether it has impacted his decision making during the horrendous atrocities in Ukraine.
Most recently, the Russian despot was seen on camera showing signs of “hand and leg tremors” in a recent meeting with his Belarusian counterpart.
The shocking footage shows Putin holding one of his hands to his chest, and the other balled into a fist.
But as he moves towards the President of Belaru, Alexander Lukashenko, his right thumb makes a motion which could be viewed as a spasm.
He is then spotted looking unsteady on his feet and moving from one leg to another in order to balance.