Mad Vlad Putin is growing increasingly paranoid that Russian top brass are trying to oust him that he now only travels in a custom made armoured train for fear of his presidential plane being shot down.
According to a former KGB colleague who trained in espionage alongside Putin, his paranoia is higher than ever.
Yury Shvets, 71, who studied with him at the KGB Institute, Russia's breeding ground for spooks, said Putin is worried about a “meat grinder” struggle for power within his inner circle.
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This would explain Putin's recent self-isolation and the dictator limiting face to face meetings.
“It looks like he fears for his life. Around him there is a struggle, a meat grinder….," Shvets said.
“And in this struggle, Putin can very easily end his existence. So he has isolated himself again.”
Putin's former pal believes that Putin is most scared of being poisoned, a method of killing which he has used many times.
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“Poison is the weapon of complete villains,” he said.
“This is what has flourished under him [Putin]. They couldn't keep it under unified control.
“And who now has this weapon, even he does not know. This is a source of very great stress for him.”
Shvets added: “Quite likely he will be poisoned. This is the easiest way.”
More evidence of Putin’s paranoia is his decision to use an armoured train for travelling around Russia, apparently abandoning the use of his presidential plane.
Journalist Ilya Rozhdestvensk said: "Several of Putin’s residences which he usually got to by air are located in an area where flights are significantly limited, due to combat activities.
“That is to say, if the president feels like visiting his palace near Gelendzhik [on the Black Sea], there is no guarantee that there will not be an attempt to shoot down his plane."
In April last year, Ukrainian forces sank the flagship Moskva cruiser in the Black Sea, where he has several favourite residences.
The train he uses is camouflaged in grey and red to mimic a normal Russian passenger train but has secret radio antennae for special communications fixed to the roof the carriages.
Heroic Ukrainian fighting is holding Russian forces in the Ukraine war, and increased supplies from Western allies is creating big problems for Putin.
Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy recently toured Europe in an attempt to drum up support for NATO countries to send fighter jets for Ukraine.
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