An ex-MI6 agent claimed on Friday that Russian President Vladimir Putin could be deposed from leadership by 2023, either through a coup or by being put in a sanatorium, as a former German ambassador claims that Putin is trying to trigger a worldwide food crisis. 

Former MI6 head Sir Richard Dearlove made the prediction on his podcast "One Decision" that the Russian dictator, who is rumored to be suffering from a debilitating illness, will be deposed from his leadership position by 2023, according to the New York Post

“I’m really going to stick my neck out. I think he’ll be gone by 2023,” he said. “Probably into the sanatorium, from which he will not emerge as [the] leader of Russia.”

He also claimed that because of a lack of a Russian succession plan, Security Council of Russia Secretary Nikolai Patrushev would succeed Putin as the leader of Russia on a potentially-permanent basis. 

“If my thesis were fulfilled and Putin did disappear into a sanatorium, I think he’s the likely stand-in,” he said. “And of course the stand in this scenario probably becomes permanent. I mean, you know there is no succession in the Russian leadership. They certainly don’t [have a] succession plan.”

Meanwhile, with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine closing into its fourth month, the former German ambassador to Russia Rüdiger von Fritsch claimed that Putin was planning on triggering a global famine in order to force the West to remove the sanctions against the country, Business Insider reported. 

“Putin's calculation is that after grain supplies collapse, starving people from these regions will flee and try to come to Europe — like previously the millions of Syrians fleeing the horrors of war,” he said. 

“He wants to destabilize Europe with new flows of refugees so that Western states give up their tough stance toward Russia.”

Experts on food security have warned that Russia’s war against Ukraine, which is considered to be the world’s “breadbasket” and the chief exporter of many foods, may exacerbate a global food supply crisis as worldwide wheat reserves continue to get smaller. 

“The Russian government seems to think that using food as a weapon will help accomplish what its invasion has not - to break the spirit of the Ukrainian people,” U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said.

GettyImages-1240707182 The ex-chief of MI6 British Intelligence claims that Putin may be deposed from leadership by 2023, as the war on Ukraine continues to exacerbate the global food supply crisis. Contributor/Getty Images.