According to Ukraine’s Defense Ministry and Chief Directorate of Intelligence, an elite group of Russian nationals intends to install FSB Director Alexander Bortnikov as President. The accusation was made in a Facebook post by the Ukrainian group, which claimed that the group was attempting to murder Russian President Vladimir Putin.
According to the post:
“(The members of the organization) are studying a variety of approaches for deposing Putin. Poisoning, severe sickness, or another accident are all possibilities.”
Bortnikov had a recent spat with Putin, according to the report. Bortnikov was in charge of studying the military potential of the Eastern European country, according to Ukrainian intelligence, and made several “fatal miscalculations.” This might explain why Ukrainian soldiers have been pushing back against Russian troops, who have apparently postponed their intentions in the battle between the two countries.
Who is Alexander Bortnikov?
Alexander Vasilyevich Bortnikov, like Putin, is a former KGB operative who has led Russia’s espionage agency, the FSB (Federal Security Service), since 2008. Bortnikov was apparently in Putin’s inner circle and functioned as an advisor to the Russian President until recently, according to a Ukrainian intelligence assessment, before falling out with him over a mistake in the Ukrainian war.
In the midst of the Russia-Ukraine crisis, Ukraine’s Security Council chairman Oleksiy Danilov stated that Russian President Vladimir Putin had sacked over eight generals. Because of his powerful position and history with Putin, Alexander Bortnikov was likely spared from dismissal. The Russian military has apparently been overwhelmed by his group’s purported error of sabotaging the Ukrainian resistance.
According to The Guardian, the 70-year-old FSB chief is one of the most powerful members of the Silovik, which includes prominent political figures from the defense, security, and related industries.
Alexander Bortnikov appeared to be pursuing a profession as a railway engineer early in his career, but two years after graduating from St. Petersburg State Transport University in 1973, he joined the KGB. Bortinikob is said to have met Putin during their time together at the agency in the 1970s.
After the demise of the Soviet Union, the Perm native went to work for the FSB, where he rose through the ranks to become the agency’s chief in the late 2000s. Bortnikov is accused of being engaged in the assassination of Russian defector Alexander Litvinenko in the United Kingdom during his career. The 70-year-old ex-KGB veteran handled the poisoning of Putin’s critic Litvinenko in London in 2006, according to Russian publication The New Times.
Alexander Bortnikov was also accused of being involved in the assassination of Russian Central Bank Deputy Head Andrey Kozlov a year later. He was also tied to a money laundering case that was being examined by police at the time.
Bortnikov has garnered several awards throughout his career. The Order of Merit for the Fatherland has four grades, as well as the Russian Federation’s Medal of Honor.