How Putin’s biggest fear about being ‘killed like Gaddafi’ almost came true as Wagner Group stormed towards Moscow | The Sun

VLADIMIR Putin's unshakeable fear of being gruesomely killed like Libyan dictator Colonel Gaddafi was almost realised yesterday as Wagner threatened to tear down his doors.

The already paranoid and shaky Russian tyrant faced a militia army on a bloody march to his doorstep, which might have sparked fears they would deliver the grisly fate he so desperately dreads.

Putin's once unquestionable control has been tearing at the seams as his troops suffer humiliations on the Ukrainian battlefield.

On Saturday morning, that fragility burst open for the world to see when his old ally and "favourite chef" Yevgeny Prigozhin launched an armed rebellion in eastern Russia and vowed to march on Moscow.

Putin ferociously branded the uprising as "mutiny" and "treason" and called for the warlord's immediate arrest, but the Wagner mercenary was undeterred and continued their assault, shooting down a air force plane and helicopters.

A cowering Putin was forced to batten down the hatches and scramble his guards and tanks to defend the capital, while his presidential plane was spotted fleeing to St Petersburg.

The Russian leader faced the biggest challenge to his iron fist rule since he rose to power and took control in the Kremlin more than two decades ago.

The revolt was called off by the evening, but the Putin regime had – for a brief moment – faced a toppling.

Backed into a corner, the Russian leader might have been reminded of the scene that still reportedly haunts him – Colonel Muammar Gaddafi's public torture, brutalisation and execution by a mob.

It is an event which is said to have instilled in Putin a deep-seated fear of rebellion and paranoia about his own fate.

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Vlad is believed to have seen it as a direct warning shot to his own regime.

All the gruesome final moments of the Libyan dictator’s life were broadcast worldwide, something which is said to have deeply disturbed Vlad.

He is said to have "obsessively" watched the video, according to The Atlantic, kicking off years of paranoia that a similar fate would one day find him.

The NATO-led intervention into Libya lay the groundwork for the violent death of the war criminal, and the Russian despot used it as an important lesson on Western involvement.

Putin furiously condemned the UN's decision for military action as treachery, comparing the resolution to a “medieval call to the crusades".

However, he was forced to watch helplessly and anxiously from the sidelines having stepped down from president to prime minister briefly between 2008-2012.

Putin even directly referenced the disturbing footage at a news conference in 2011.

"Almost all of Gaddafi’s family has been killed, his corpse was shown on all global television channels, it was impossible to watch without disgust.

"The man was all covered in blood, still alive and he was being finished off."

What happened to Gaddafi?

COLONEL Gaddafi’s brutal regime came to an end on October 20, 2011, when he was cornered by a revolutionary mob.

He was killed in a frenzied execution staged by rebels after being found hunkered down in a storm drain in Sirte, Libya.

Chilling video captured the tyrant's final moments as he was seen covered in blood amongst a crowd of fighters who are chanting "God is great".

The dictator – who committed war crimes and viciously oppressed his people – can be heard begging for mercy in the clips, saying "what you're doing is wrong".

"What is the matter? What’s going on? What do you want?" the bloodied tyrant pleaded.

Jeers of "you dog" and cheers of "victory" can be heard as the bewildered dictator was captured by the mob.

He is reported to have been beaten and tortured by the rebels – including having a knife or bayonet inserted into his anus.

Gaddafi was then shot at close range, with some reports stating he was executed with his own custom-made gold gun.

His body was placed on public display inside a freezer so the population would have proof that the vile ruler was dead.

Russian journalist Mikhail Zygar wrote in his book "All The Kremlin's Men" that Putin learned an immense lesson the day of Gaddafi's death – weakness and compromise were not an option.

He wrote: "When he [Gaddafi] was a pariah, no one touched him. But as soon as he opened up he was not only overthrown but killed in the street like a mangy old cur."

Putin enemy Yuri Felshtinsky previously told The Sun Online that Putin is terrified that if he was ever to loosen the grip, then a similar bitter end awaits him.

“He’s bright enough to know that under normal rules, his system of government cannot exist. He’s not an idealist," he said.

The Russian leader spent his two decades in power consolidating his iron grip by changing election laws and crushing any opposition.

Yet, all of that risks being destroyed if Russia descends into civil war following the outburst of violence and "mutiny" yesterday.

Putin has emerged weak, his authority has been challenged.

Colonel Hamish de Bretton-Gordon told The Sun Online that his speech yesterday "sounded like desperation".

He had previously warned told The Sun that he thought warlord Yevgeny Prigozhin could march on Moscow in a "Roman-style" rebellion.

His chilling prediction seemed to be coming true yesterday as Prigozhin and his band of heavily-armed mercenaries reached within 125 miles of the capital.

The former British military officer said that for Putin "it is sort of like Caesar being stabbed in the back by those he thought were fighting for him."

"We could well see the implosion of Putin," he added. "I think Putin is looking at his own mortality at the moment."

Despite Putin's attempts to quell the extraordinary coup by branding Wagner's forces as betrayers of their motherland, a defiant Prigozhin hit back by saying his troops were "patriots".

"No one will surrender to the demands of the president," he declared, echoing the revolutionary spirit of the Libyan people's uprising against Gaddafi.

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"We don't want our country to live anymore in corruption, lies and bureaucracy," he fumed.

Colonel de Bretton-Gordon added: “The only hope for Putin is to drag this [crisis] out for a few weeks and maybe take this steam out of Prigozhin’s charge”.

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