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Kremlin coup to oust Putin is 'already under way', says Ukraine spy chief

By Tim Hanlon

Ukraine’s spy boss claims that a coup is now under way at the Kremlin to remove Vladimir Putin who is very ill with cancer.

Russia ’s invasion of Ukraine has seemingly gone far from plan for Putin with his forces having struggled to make serious inroads since it was launched on February 24.

Dogged resistance from Ukrainian fighters coupled with a lack of determination from his own forces has led to war of attrition.

The Russian president was unable to announce any great breakthrough at the Victory Day celebrations in Moscow where he also appeared frail and used a blanket to keep warm.

Rumours are now rife that Putin is seriously ill with some claims that he is suffering from cancer.

A coup to remove Putin from power is already under way, it is claimed (Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

And Ukraine’s head of military intelligence, Major General Kyrylo Budanov has said that a coup is now under way in Russia to remove Putin.

He is also confident that Ukraine will have defeated the Russian invasion by the end of the year and the turning point will be in August.

General Budanov is convinced that the loss for Russia will lead to Putin being removed from power.

Major General Kyrylo Budanov said Russia will be defeated by the end of the year (Sky News)

"It will eventually lead to the change of leadership of the Russian Federation. This process has already been launched and they are moving into that way," he told Sky News.

Asked if a coup has already started he replied: "Yes. They are moving in this way and it is impossible to stop it."

Russia has heavily shelled Ukraine but not broken its resistance (AFP via Getty Images)

The General claimed that Putin has cancer saying he is in a “very bad psychological and physical condition and he is very sick”.

On the Russian invasion he claimed: “The breaking point will be in the second part of August.

“Most of the active combat will have finished by the end of the year. It will eventually lead to the change of leadership of the Russian Federation. This process has already been launched.

“As a result we will renew Ukrainian power in all our territories.”

It comes as Ukrainian forces destroyed parts of a Russian armoured column as it tried to cross a river in the Donbas region, video from Ukraine's military showed on Friday.

Putin looked frail at the Victory Day celebrations in Moscow (@Kremlinpool_RIA/Twitter)

Fighters have driven Russia from the second-largest Ukrainian city of Kharkiv in their fastest advance since Kremlin troops pulled away from Kyiv and the northeast over a month ago to focus their offensive on the Donbas region bordering Russia.

The city, which had been under fierce bombardment, has been quiet for at least two weeks and Ukraine now controls territory stretching to the Siverskyi Donets River, around 25 miles to the east.

However, Moscow is still bombarding villages north of Kharkiv.

Around six miles north of the city, firefighters doused smouldering wreckage in Dergachi after what local officials said was an overnight Russian missile attack on the House of Culture, used to distribute aid.

Volunteers inside were trying to salvage packages of baby nappies and formula.

"I can't call it anything but a terrorist act," the mayor Vyacheslav Zadorenko said. "They wanted to hit the base where we store provisions and create a humanitarian catastrophe."

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Dive Deeper:
'Singing soldier of Azovstal' belts out song as she inspires Ukrainians against Russia
Video footage shows combat medic Kateryna, dubbed the 'Singing Soldier of Azovstal', singing at a march of Ukrainian nationalists has…
Ukraine praises ‘liberation’ in the Battle of Kharkiv
Ukrainian forces reportedly prevented Russian troops from encircling the second-largest city and then expelled them.
Vladimir Putin 'very sick' with cancer and other illnesses, army boss says
Ukraine's head of military intelligence predicted the war with Russia would reach a turning point by the middle of August…
Ukraine war approaching 'peak point' as Putin decision 'a surprise', expert says
Samuel Cranny-Evans, a research analyst at the Royal United Services Institute, said Russia's invasion of Ukraine is "approaching a stalemate"…
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Fierce fighting in Ukraine's east slowing Russian advance
Kyiv (Ukraine) (AFP) - Ukraine on Saturday claimed it was holding back a Russian assault in the eastern Donbas region…
Finland seeks to reassure Russia about NATO bid
Kyiv (Ukraine) (AFP) - Finland on Saturday sought to allay Moscow's fears about its bid to join NATO, as fierce…
Get all your news in one place