Ruthless ex-KGB spy tipped by spooks to take over if Putin is toppled by Kremlin

THE MIRROR:

Top Putin sidekick Alexander Bortnikov, who has fallen out of favour with the Moscow despot over errors in the Ukraine war, is said to be plotting to topple the Russian president.

An ex-KGB agent accused of having a hand in the death of a spy on British soil has been tipped to succeed Vladimir Putin if he is toppled.

As the Russian invasion nears the one month mark, the Ukrainian intelligence service claims to have unearthed a plot devised in the upper reaches of Russian society to dethrone the President.

Among the planned conspiracies against Putin are poisoning or an accident, according to Kyiv sources who claim the cell wants to be rid of the Russian leader as soon as possible.

It is believed their preferred replacement is spy master and once top Putin sidekick Alexander Bortnikov, who has fallen out of favour with the Moscow despot over errors in the Ukraine war.

The elite plotters, according to Ukrainian intelligence, picked out the 70-year-old because they believe he could spearhead the restoration of economic ties with the west.

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