PARANOID and sickly Vladimir Putin is becoming increasingly bolder and secretive with his battlefield tactics, Kremlin insiders have warned.
The dictator is said to be making rash decisions without consulting his military chiefs in a bid to bolster his botched invasion of Ukraine.
Keeping his generals on their toes, sources say the reportedly cancer-stricken President is "losing all co-ordination" and has stopped communicating with his advisors.
Instead, the bloodthirsty tyrant is reportedly winging his way through the war as he tries to stave off a crushing defeat.
It has sparked fears the incompetent leader could trigger a devastating nuclear conflict as he grows increasingly desperate.
Moscow's elite have lost faith in the leader, raising concerns about his sloppy strategies and increasingly bizarre behaviour as he struggles to maintain his position of power.
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High-ranking civil servants, parliamentary deputies, and executives at public and private companies have now revealed the extent of Putin's downwards spiral to The Telegraph.
One head of a state-owned bank told of their worry that the despot enforces decisions exclusively without consultation.
The source said: "No one explains anything to anyone. There is a total lack of coordination. It’s a mess. Putin tells everyone different things.
"What were we doing in Kharkiv? No one has a clue – neither politicians nor the military. It just happened."
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And Putin is clinging to his obsession with defeating Ukraine despite persistent rumours that his health is weakening.
Insiders claim he continues to ramble on about Russia being surrounded by enemies as well as insisting NATO are plotting his downfall.
Putin's lack of stable leadership has seen sincere support for the war dwindle, according to an executive of a leading private company and pal of Russian prime minister Mikhail Mishustin.
They told the publication: "There used to be those officials that said they had a ‘boss’ [an informal term for Putin], and he would unify society.
"Now everyone understands that this is not the case. But people can’t change their position fast enough."
The implausible promise of victory in Russia has soon shifted to a mood of "impending doom", another business tycoon said.
He described his arrival back in the nation after taking a holiday as a "return to prison" after 300,000 conscripts were called up for duty.
"People are ready to lead their children, husbands and sons to the slaughter. It’s downright evil," he continued.
"People don’t need therapists anymore, they need psychiatrists."
WINNING WAR IS PUTIN'S 'ONLY OPTION'
Another claimed naive troops were duped by generals after being sent to the frontline with rusted guns and 60-year-old tanks.
But despite the Russian military's outdated artillery, the sick President is still desperate to cement his place in history.
Sources suggested his recent land grab – the biggest since World War Two – and nuclear threats to the West are his attempt to leave a powerful lasting legacy with chilling warnings to Ukraine's allies.
One insider claimed: "The message is: don’t forget, Ukraine does not have the right to defeat us. By supplying weapons, you are only delaying Ukraine’s demise."
Fearful Russians struggle to imagine a world where Russia doesn't triumph – saying it is "the only possible option".
But former Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov claimed Putin faces being forced out of power within three months.
He believes the growing strength of the Ukrainian army, unrest in wake of the mobilisation order and Western sanctions creating economic hardship could finally topple the dictator.
And that's if Putin's ailing health doesn't stop him first, as the strongman finds it increasingly difficult to mask his pain in public.
He was spotted grimacing as he tried to keep his composure during his meeting with Belarus dictator Alexander Lukashenko this week.
Reports have long suggested Putin is suffering from serious illnesses including abdominal cancer, early Parkinson’s disease and a schizoaffective disorder.
There have been Western claims about Putin’s health, notably from ex-MI6 head Sir Richard Dearlove, who said the Russian leader faces being sent to a sanatorium, and will be gone by 2023, due to medical issues.
This week political scientist Valery Solovey claimed Putin's condition was “dramatically deteriorating”.
He also asserted that Putin’s secret medical conditions have impacted on his judgment on the war.
Russian independent media Proekt suggested Putin is permanently surrounded by top Russian medics including cancer specialists when he goes on official visits.
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They are said to closely monitor him in public and behind the scenes.
In June, Ukrainian officials claimed the evil tyrant was suffering from "grave" illnesses and could die within two years.
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