PARANOID Vladimir Putin has sent thousands of Russians to die in his disastrous invasion of Ukraine – but he couldn’t be further from the frontline.
Instead, the insecure dictator has gone underground to keep a distance between himself and his once-trusted advisors.
Despite previously taking solace in his own inner sanctum, the Russian despot now lives in fear that his men have a target on his back.
He worries his once fiercely devoted advisors have lost faith in him thanks to his shambolic and self-serving attack on Ukraine.
The President has become obsessed with the idea someone is out to get him, seeing him continually isolate himself.
He has even ditched his jaunt to the Kremlin, preferring to remain in the safety of his summer home to conduct business.
Putin’s army of minions hired to protect him are the only ones allowed close enough, as he obsesses over assassination plots.
The distrustful despot even employs a team of people to taste his food before he eats it, convinced he could be poisoned.
There were rumours the former KGB spy even ordered special gloves to protect his skin from possible exposure to killer substances.
Even his daily morning swim is no longer sacred, as he tests the water multiple times a day to check for suspicious chemical levels.
This descent into Hitler-like madness has not gone unnoticed and the similarities between the two tyrants are hard to ignore.
Comparisons have even been drawn between the pair’s fragile wartime displays and ailing health, despite both being the instigators.
Putin expert Mark Galeotti even likened their arrogant insistence on following their grand plans, despite numerous blunders in battle.
He wrote in the Daily Mail: “It is impossible not to be reminded of Adolf Hitler’s last days, when a war he started was also going against him.
“Of course, Putin’s enemies are not at the gates of Moscow as Hitler’s were in Berlin, yet there are parallels in both leaders’ refusal to listen to counsel, and their insistence on micro-managing military manoeuvres despite not having the experience to do so.”
The neurotic 69-year-old hasn’t met with senior ministers, advisers and aides for months, instead opting to video call them.
But Galeotti, Honorary Professor at the University College London School of Slavonic and East European Studies, believes this is so he ignore anything he doesn’t want to hear.
He suggested Putin is more of a “military fanboy than a military mastermind”, and like Hitler, has no idea of the reality of war.
As he approaches age 70 and rumours of his declining health swirl, it is understood the Russian President’s trusted generals now view him as incompetent and humiliating.
After being left red-faced regarding the botched invasion of Ukraine, insiders suggest they could overthrow him in just a matter of months.
Other world leaders have decribed him as being less coherent than usual in recent meetings, fueling suspicions he is no longer fit for the job.
Galeotti pointed out Putin burrowed himself under a thick blanket at the Victory Day parade in Moscow – while “90-year-old veterans sat comfortably without.”
According to reports, the tyrant is constantly accompanied by a legion of doctors as he struggles with his mystery illness.
Alexander Rodynasky, an advisor to Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky, even claimed Putin boldly pursued the invasion in an attempt to go out in a blaze of glory, as his “time is running out”.
Author and Russia expert Galeotti said the President is now “stuck”, as his power-hungry henchmen will quickly make him a scapegoat.
He added: “He is micromanaging tactics because yes, it’s fun and he feels he is shaping the world, but he knows that ultimately his neck is on the line.”
The pressure is continuing to mount for Putin and it is becoming difficult for him to disguise his physical anxiety.
In his latest video appearance, the 69-year-old appeared to sport a swollen face while fidgeting and tightly gripping the arm of his chair.
He manically twitched and tapped his feet, accidentally showing the world he is a man and not a Messiah as he pretends.
Which makes it all the more worrying that he is the person with his finger hovering over the nuclear button.