About two months ago there was an assassination attempt on Putin, Ukrainian intelligence says.
Kyrylo Budanov told Pravda in an interview sample that it was “absolutely unsuccessful”.
We were unable to immediately verify this latest claim.
Russian President Vladimir Putin survived an attempted assassination not long after he invaded Ukraine, according to Ukraine’s top military intelligence official.
Kyrylo Budanov told Ukrainian newspaper Ukrainska Pravda: “There was an attempt to assassinate Putin” in March.
The newspaper also published an English version of the comments.
According to Pravda’s translation, Budanov said:
“There was an attempt to assassinate Putin… He was even attacked not long ago by representatives of the Caucasus, it is said. This is non-public information. [It was an] Absolutely failed attempt, but it actually happened… It was about 2 months ago.
“I repeat, this attempt was unsuccessful. There was no publicity about this event, but it happened.”
Pravda said the comments were part of a longer interview, which will be published soon.
Budanov has repeatedly circulated unverified information about threats against Putin and has provided no evidence to back up his latest claim.
About a week ago, he claimed that Putin’s health is deteriorating and suggested that a coup is underway in the Kremlin that is “impossible to stop”. In that interview with Sky News, he said he expects a change of leadership by the end of the year.
By locating the attempt to locate “representatives of the Caucasus”, Budanov seemed to say that Ukraine was not behind it.
The Caucasus is a large geographical area. It includes a number of Russian territories, including North Ossetia-Alania and Chechnya, as well as non-Russian states such as Georgia and Azerbaijan, which used to belong to the Soviet Union.
Anton Geraschenko, a senior Ukrainian government official, also shared Budanov’s comments on his Telegram profile.
By the time of the alleged assassination attempt, there were already signs that the advance of Russian troops in Ukraine was seriously faltering, with reverberations in the Kremlin.
The assassination claim is the latest in a long line of claims — of varying reliability — about Putin’s health and its impact on his leadership in Russia.
Most recently, on May 18, former MI6 chief Sir Richard Dearlove said Putin would be powerless by 2023 and committed to a sanatorium.