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Tell us if you think Putin sacking his defence minister proves Kremlin in chaos

Vladimir Putin rocked Russia’s political elites after firing two of his most trusted lieutenants in a Kremlin purge.

Defence Minister Sergey Shoigu was axed along with National Security supremo Nikolai Patrushvev, plunging the country into political turmoil.

Former MI6 intelligence officer Christopher Steele described Patrushev’s sacking as “astonishing” in Sky News interview.

He said the former head of the FEB had been considered the second most powerful man in Russia after Putin.

Express readers are now being asked if Putin’s purge of his elites proves the Kremlin is in chaos. Tell us your thoughts in the poll below.

If you can’t see the poll, click here

Christopher Steele told Sky News: “It’s important to understand that he’s been one of Putin’s closest allies, former head of the FSB and so on for many years.

“And he was rated by people to be probably the second most powerful man in Russia after Putin himself. I think what this indicates is not just a reshuffle along normal governmental lines.

“It’s really quite serious instability right in the heart of this regime.”

Ilya Ponomarev, a leading anti-Putin activist, told the move clearly shows the Kremlin is preparing for a long drawn out war that most likely will “go beyond” Ukraine.

“It means they are planning to fight for a long time, and that’s most likely to go beyond Ukraine…..Baltic States, Poland… who knows,” he said.

“Just (appointing) Belousov means the continuation of the militarisation of the economy, long-term.”

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