A top Kremlin insider, who has been key in Russian President Vladimir Putin's electoral victory, has been arrested in Moscow. The wide-ranging criminal probe witnessed the arrest of Vladislav Surkov and additional 150 FSB agents over failures in the Ukraine war and embezzlement.
The arrest of Surkov suggests that cracks have emerged in Kremlin insiders and Putin is turning on his inner circle.
Surkov's arrest is related to the alleged embezzlement of $5 billion (Â£3.85 billion) by the secret services to create an undercover and intelligence network in Ukraine.
Surkov is believed to be behind assuring Putin that there is no Ukraine, "there is Ukrainianness" and if Russian troops invade it, Ukrainians will welcome them. However, the observation has been completely wrong and Russia faced massive losses in the Ukraine war.
Surkov, 57, is close to Kremlin for a long time and has been a very Putin-centric figure. Before the Ukraine war began, he had vowed to annex the Baltic state, Belarus, and Kyiv.
His arrest is related to the detention of FSB figure Col-General Sergei Beseda, who is currently held in grim Lefortovo jail.
The Russian President is believed to be furious about the country's intelligence failings in Ukraine.
Surkov's Arrest Suggests Cracks Among Kremlin Insiders
Russia has been acting against the case of embezzlement in the Donbas in 2014 and Surkov's case also pertains to similar issues.
Surkov's arrest is being underlined by many key individuals including Russian opposition politician Ilya Ponomarev, who also pointed out that Surkov is close to the leader of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov.
The Chechen leader is seen as interfering in the Kremlin insider's plan in the Ukraine war, which has caused a divide in Putin's inner circle.
Surkov Believes "There is no Ukraine"
Surkov has served as a deputy head of the Russian presidential administration from 1999 to 2011. The Kremlin insider is also termed as Putin's main ideologist, devising the concept of 'sovereign democracy' as a mask for authoritarianism.
The ideologist has previously advocated for defending the Russians beyond borders, an ideology that paved for Crimea annexation and bossing of Donbas.
He believes that the Russian world is something bigger than Russia itself as Russians are dispersed people and their population stretches beyond their own borders, according to the Daily Mail.
According to Surkov, the Russian world is in those places, where residents speak Russian and think like Russians, or where they respect Russian culture.