- Vladimir Putin is supposed to hold public meetings on Monday
- The Russian leader has not been seen in public for the past nine days
- Putin reportedly met the head of the Supreme Court on Friday for talks
- However, the video is now believed to have been taken from file footage
There have been no confirmed sightings of Putin for nine days, while in the febrile atmosphere engulfing Moscow a convoy of large trucks parked outside the Kremlin fueled rumours of a flit by the president.
When Yeltsin had heart surgery in 96 we knew the name of American doctor & how many stents! Difference between a president & a dictator.
— Garry Kasparov (@Kasparov63) March 15, 2015
In fact, the lorries close to St Basil’s Cathedral were more likely connected to a nationalist celebration of the first anniversary of the return of Crimea to Russia – seen by Putin’s supporters as his ultimate masterstroke.
Despite this, bloggers likened it to Ukrainian leader Viktor Yanukovych’s treasure-grab as he fled into exile just over a year ago in Kiev.
“There are allegations that a security official closer to Kadyrov ordered the Nemtsov murder, and that the FSB and Interior Ministry in Moscow have full proof.”
‘I think that Putin is neutralised at the moment, but of course, he is alive,’ said Dzhemal, seen as a Kremlin loyalist.
‘He is under the control of the power-wielding agencies, who have, in my opinion, organised a coup d’etat.’
“His slaying has triggered bitter factional infighting in the Kremlin, which includes talk of defence and security service generals seeking to replace Putin.”
Recent pictures of Putin supposedly working during a nine day absence from public sight was ‘playing for time’ by the plotters, he claimed.
‘My information is that Patrushev met Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov in Pyatigorsk on 11 March and tempted him over to his side.’
“I think that Putin is neutralised at the moment, but of course, he is alive. He is under the control of the power-wielding agencies, who have, in my opinion, organised a coup d’etat.”
— Dzhemal, a Kremlin loyalist
He also pointed to a recent visit by Patrushev – head of Putin’s security council – the US.
The visit came despite sanctions barring visits by most senior Russian officials.
‘I think he was offered something there that he failed to reject,’ said Dzhemal on Georgian TV channel Rustavi-2.
Putin failed to reappear again on Saturday – the ninth day without a confirmed sighting – as his Chechen enforcer suggested the Russian strongman is in danger of being overthrown.
“With feverish speculation in Moscow over Putin’s health and whereabouts, and claims of a bitter power struggle in his entourage which could even trigger an attempted coup, the head of Chechnya spoke emotionally of people ‘trying to harm the president of Russia – and Russia itself’.”
Ramzan Kadyrov – a devout Muslim whose security apparatchiks are seen as being behind the brutal murder of Boris Nemtsov – said he would remain devoted to the Kremlin leader ‘whether he is in his position or not’.
This came amid a claim that pictures issued by the Kremlin on Friday of Putin meeting Supreme Court head Vyachevslav Lebedev may date from 2011. Read the rest of this entry »