A COUP to boot "cancer-stricken" Vladimir Putin from power is already underway, Ukraine's spy chief has claimed.
Major General Kyrylo Budanov, 36, believes the tyrant's calamitous war in Ukraine will hit a "breaking point" in summer and be over before the end of the year.
The official told Sky News that Putin will be ousted from office within this time as his invasion continues to stall in the face of stiff Ukrainian resistance - with rumours continuing to swirl about the Russian president's health.
General Budanov said: "The breaking point will be in the second part of August.
"Most of the active combat actions will have finished by the end of this year.
"As a result, we will renew Ukrainian power in all our territories that we have lost including Donbas and the Crimea."
Putin had been hoping for a swift victory in Ukraine - but the faltering invasion has seen thousands of Russian soldiers killed and huge amounts of hardware destroyed by hero defenders.
General Budanov believes the war will be over within months and will see Putin - who he says is seriously ill with cancer - removed from power.
He told the outlet: "It will eventually lead to the change of leadership of the Russian Federation.
"This process has already been launched and they are moving into that way."
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The official said a coup is underway already.
He added: "They are moving in this way and it is impossible to stop it."
General Budanov also fuelled rumours of the tyrant's reportedly ill health, claiming he is in a "very bad psychological and physical condition and he is very sick".
Putin's health has been subject to huge scrutiny in the wake of the war in Ukraine, and rumours continued to mount in the wake of last week's military parade when the tyrant was seen with a blanket over his legs.
Claims from anti-Kremlin sources allege that Putin, 69, is due to have cancer surgery "at any moment".
Meanwhile, a former Nato commander has said Putin is being circled by "hardmen" who want him ousted over his terrible handling of the war amid rumours of a coup.
Sir James Everard, who served as Nato's Deputy Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, said Putin was "in trouble" and running out to time to stop a coup against him.
Speaking to The Sun Online, the Brit former general, said: "Putin is in a terrible place. It was entirely of his own making.
"There are hardmen in Russia who would have removed him if they had lost Ukraine to Nato and the EU.
"He's acted and now the whole thing has gone badly wrong and he is vulnerable again and he is in trouble."