New EU and US sanctions have targeted Vladimir Putin’s daughters as the West seeks to punish Russia further for the invasion of Ukraine. The Russian leader’s closest family members have been added to what is a growing list of restrictions. While Western allies move to pressure Putin from the outside, the Russian president is doing everything in his power to quash any opposition to his invasion within Russia. Police have detained thousands of protesters across Russia, and media in the country has been further restricted by the Kremlin.
Yuri Felshtinsky, an expert on Russia and an enemy of Putin’s, told The Sun in February that the Russian President fears being killed like Libyan dictator Colonel Gaddafi.
It has been reported that he has “watched obsessively” videos of Colonel Gaddafi being brutally murdered after he was cornered by a mob in 2011.
Mr Felshtinsky argued that Putin will have to use more authoritarian measures in order to prevent his demise.
He said: “Correct – this he knows.
“He’s bright enough to know that under normal rules, his system of government cannot exist. He’s not an idealist.
“He knows there’s no way he can survive unless he continues to oppress.
“The lesson that Putin will have learnt after the recent events is that he should control more and that he should repress more. And that’s what we will see.”
Mr Felshtinsky is a respected academic, and also helped Russian dissident Alexander Litvinenko escape to the UK where he was later murdered, likely by Russian FSB agents, according to a report into his death.
He believes a similar fate awaits Alexei Navalny, the most prominent opposition figure in Russia who was sentenced to nine more years in prison after being found guilty of large-scale fraud and contempt by a Russian court earlier this year.
Mr Navalny dismissed the latest criminal case against him as politically motivated and pleaded not guilty.
After the sentencing, he tweeted a quote from the US television series The Wire.
He said: “Nine years. Well, as the characters of my favourite TV series The Wire used to say: ‘You only do two days. That’s the day you go in and the day you come out.’
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It was claimed last month that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has survived three assassination attempts.
Mr Zelensky’s adviser said: “Our foreign partners are talking about two or three attempts. I believe that there were more than a dozen such attempts.
“We have a very powerful network of intelligence and counterintelligence, they track it all.
“Western intelligence is right to say that the main target for [Vladimir] Putin was Mr Zelensky in terms of attacking the government quarter and trying to kill the country’s key manager.”
Prior to this, The Times reported that Mr Zelensky survived three assassination attempts made by Kremlin-backed Wagner mercenary group and Chechen special forces.