German agents tell of cracks in Kremlin
With EU sanctions starting to bite, Russia's oligarchs are trying to put pressure on Vladimir Putin, according to German intelligence.
German agents are reported to have obtained evidence of a power struggle in the Kremlin, with hardliners and oligarchs at loggerheads over Western sanctions. Some want to "put the brakes" on Mr Putin to rescue their business interests.
'Der Spiegel' magazine reported Gerhard Schindler, the head of Germany's intelligence service, told its foreign affairs committee cracks were appearing in the united front that Mr Putin's government was seeking to present.
"It is possible oligarchs worried by EU sanctions will soon start putting economic interests above political concerns and try to put the brakes on Putin," 'Der Spiegel' said.