KEY POINTS

  • A former DGSE agent said poisoning Putin should be done by someone within the Kremlin
  • The agent said an asset could already be in place to carry out the hit
  • The Russians have a long history of using poison in attempts to eliminate people who opposed the Kremlin

Plans to assassinate Russian President Vladimir Putin could be on the tables of every intelligence agency hoping to find a way to end the war in Ukraine, a former French security agent suggested.

A retired agent for France’s General Directorate for External Security (DGSE) suggested the most efficient way to eliminate Putin would be by poisoning. However, only a person from inside Kremlin could do the task, he added.

“The operation is on every intelligence agency’s design table. I know this because I used to plan them,” the agent, whose identity was not revealed, told The Daily Beast.

“The attempt will be from within the Kremlin. This is not an outside job.”

The former DGSE agent said he believes an asset could already be in place within Putin’s inner circle to carry out a hit on the president. 

The Russians are believed to have a long history of using poison in an attempt to eliminate people who opposed the Kremlin. In 1957, the KGB unsuccessfully attempted to assassinate defector Nikolai Khokhlov with coffee laced with thallium. In 2004, the Russians allegedly attempted to kill Ukrainian presidential candidate Viktor Yushchenko by putting dioxin in his food. 

The Russian authorities were also accused of attacking opposition leader and vocal Putin critic Alexei Navalny in 2019 by exposure to a “toxic agent.” The opposition leader suffered a severe allergic reaction that caused significant swelling of the face and bodily rashes. He received medical attention before returning to prison to serve his 30-day sentence. 

However, the former French security agent said poisoning the Russian president could prove to be difficult. A source who works in the Russian ministry told The Daily Beast writer Craig Copetas that Putin had replaced approximately 1,000 of his staff members, including cooks, launderers, secretaries and bodyguards.

The report cannot be independently verified by the International Business Times. 

Suggestions of Putin’s assassination come three weeks after Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24. As of Wednesday, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) recorded a total of 726 civilian deaths and 1,174 injuries in Ukraine. The deaths include 52 children. 

President Vladimir Putin said Russians will adapt to Western sanctions and blamed Western nations on sky-rocketing energy prices President Vladimir Putin said Russians will adapt to Western sanctions and blamed Western nations on sky-rocketing energy prices Photo: SPUTNIK via AFP / Mikhail KLIMENTYEV