Vladimir Putin could be overthrown by a secret plot by his own inner circle, a CIA insider has claimed.
Hoffman said such an attempt to overthrow the president would be sudden, rapid and potentially fatal.
“These guys who want to do it will be so secretive about it that Putin will not find them and kill them first,” Mr Hoffman said.. “It happens all of a sudden. And he will be dead.
“No one will ask, ‘Hi Vladimir, would you like to go?’ “It’s a hammer in the head and he’s dead,” he said The Daily Beast. “Or it’s time to go to the sanatorium. They lure him for it. That’s what they want to do. “
There is also ongoing speculation about Putin’s health, which has also raised questions about his future leadership of the country.
According to Mr Hoffman, there are three key people to watch out for if the Russian president is replaced.
They are; Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, who has played a crucial role during Russia’s war in Ukraine; Nikolai Patrushev, the head of Putin’s Security Council, and Alexander Bortnikoc, the director of Russia’s secret intelligence service, the FSB.
Another former CIA officer Ronald Marks also said Russia could be on the verge of getting a new leader, which would provoke “a crazy fight” for power.
It comes as Putin’s war against Ukraine entered its fifth month, and although it was initially considered a mistaken operation, Russia has recently made progress in the east.
Russian forces are seeking to capture the last remaining Ukrainian strongholds in the eastern Luhansk region after taking full control of the charred ruins of Sievierodonetsk on Saturday.
On Sunday, Putin launched the first airstrikes against Kiev in three weeks, just as world leaders met at the G7 summit in Germany.
When he attended the event, Boris Johnson called on Western allies to stand firm over Ukraine.
“The consequences of what is happening to the world are severe,” he said. “But the price to back up, the price to allow Putin to succeed, to hack large parts of Ukraine off, to continue his conquest program, that price will be far, far higher, and everyone here understands that.”