Putin ‘afraid his own people will rise up’ as Russian defeats grow

Vladimir Putin won't hold on to power predicts Leon Panetta

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Vladimir Putin is turning 70 at a key juncture in the Ukraine war where all signals point towards a humiliating Russian defeat. Putin’s soldiers are suffering major setbacks on all fronts, and his attempt to beef up his troops appears to have stalled as hundreds of thousands of conscripts are fleeing the country. Despite his war propaganda and claims Russia is winning the war, Bill Browder claimed Russians are growing aware of the stark defeat Putin is facing.

Brushing aside Putin’s claim that he wants to recreate the Soviet Union, Bill Browder revealed Putin’s motive to launch the war in Ukraine. 

He told Talk TV: “The reason he’s at war is he needs a massive distraction because the economic pressure has been on people for so long that, at some point, they’re going to rise up.”

The American-British political activist then made an analogy with the comedy film “Wag the Dog” in which a spin doctor and a Hollywood producer fabricate a war in Albania to distract voters from a presidential sex scandal.

Vladimir Putin is using the same strategy with the Ukraine war to distract Russian voters from the economic fallout provoked by the West’s sanctions, Mr Browder said.

Referring to Putin’s war in Ukraine, Mr Bower said: “This is a Wag the Dog war. He’s doing this war because he’s afraid that the people will rise up.

“In terms of did I see him ever so brutal, they say that ‘Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

“And Putin is kind of like the case study in that saying. He has just gotten worse and worse and worse, more powerful, more corrupt. 

“He’s kind of boxed himself in because he started this war to stay in power – but he’s losing the war.”

Mr Bower continued: “Ukrainians are eating him for lunch. 

“And he’s in a bad place because what started as a popular war when people weren’t involved; they were just watching from the sidelines, cheering him on. 

“Now, all of a sudden, he’s now drafting everyone from 18 to 60. And I think a million people fled the country and everybody who didn’t care about all these human rights abuses and obvious corruption are now screaming bloody murder because they’re afraid of dying in the front in Ukraine.

“He’s in a pretty bad place on his 70th birthday, I think.”

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In a sign of escalating tension, a member of Vladimir Putin’s inner circle directly confronted the Russian President over mistakes and failings in the war, The Washington Post reported, citing US Intelligence. 

The Kremlin’s spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, acknowledged there had been disagreements over the war but said that it was “all part of the usual working process”.

Russian unrest comes as Ukrainian forces are retaking significant parts of Russian-controlled areas, with more than 193 square miles recaptured in the Kherson region, Ukrainian President Zelensky said.

In total, Mr Zelensky added, the Ukrainian military has liberated 926 square miles of territory in the south “since the beginning of the full-scale war”.

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