The head of Britain’s armed forces strongly dismisses rumors that Russian President Vladimir Putin could be facing the threat of “assassination.”
Speaking to the BBC on Sunday, Sir Tony Radakin said, “I think some of these comments that ‘he’s not well’ or ‘surely someone is going to assassinate him,’ they’re wishful thinking.”
Ukrainian and Western officials have for years been propagating rumors about the Russian head of state’s health condition.
The rumors intensified after February 24, when Russia began a special military operation in Ukraine.
The stories have mainly been sourced from “the Ukrainian intelligence officials,” who, at one point, alleged there had been an assassination attempt targeting the Russian president. The claim drew far-and-wide skepticism even among Western officials themselves.
Adding to his remarks, the British official said, “Nobody at the top [of the Russian government] has the motivation to challenge President Putin.”
‘Attack on Crimea to trigger doomsday scenario’
Also on Sunday, former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said any attack on the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea, which voted in 2014 to break off from Ukraine and join Russia, would trigger a doomsday scenario.
In the event of such an attack, “Judgment Day will come very fast and hard. It will be very difficult to hide,” he was quoted by Russia’s ITAR-TASS news agency as saying during an address to Russian World War II veterans.
“If any other state, be it Ukraine or [the Western military alliance of] NATO countries, believes that Crimea is not Russian, then this is a systemic threat for us,” he said.
“This is a direct and an explicit threat, especially given what had happened to Crimea. Crimea returned to Russia,” said Medvedev, who now serves as deputy chairman of the Russian Security Council.