Ex-KGB spy tipped to take over from Putin as Ukraine invasion backfires

Alexander Bortnikov is said to be one of very few people still within Putin's inner circle

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A former KGB spy is being tipped to take over from current President Vladimir Putin as Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine continues to hit roadblocks.

Mr Putin is allegedly the target of a poisoning attack in a bid to remove him from office after a string of strong sanctions from the West began to take their toll on the Russian economy, Ukrainian security officials claim.

And current director of the Federal Security Service (FSB) Alexander Bortnikov, is reportedly being tipped to be his replacement.

Russian President Vladimir Putin
Russian President Vladimir Putin

Mr Bortnikov is said to be one of very few still within Mr Putin’s inner circle but has recently fallen out with the Kremlin over its Ukrainian invasion struggles, which have seen thousands of military being killed.

He is also a former officer of the KGB having joined them back in 1975.

Mr Bornikov reportedly met Putin while the pair were stationed together in Leningrad, now Saint Petersburg, in the 1970s.

Putin and Bortnikov are said to have a close relationship
Putin and Bortnikov are said to have a close relationship

Mr Putin left the KGB back in 1991, while Mr Bortnikov continued to rise up the ranks.

Mr Bortnikov’s son, Denis is the Deputy-President of Russian bank VTB and is among those recently sanctioned by the UK.

Mr Bortnikov himself was sanctioned by the US back in March last year.

The 70-year-old said in an interview back in 2017 that "the destruction of Russia is still an obsession for many".