Putin: 'People around him beginning to lose heavily' says expert
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Wealthy Russian elite are at risk of losing their fortunes as the Kremlin will be devastated by a coup as President Putin’s invasion of Ukraine crumbles. Professor Michael Clarke predicted the Russian “mafia state” would fall to a coup as Putin’s “reign of terror” begins to fall apart. The defence and security analyst suggested that Russian military strategy had largely failed to make the territorial gains promised in the early stages of the Ukraine invasion, leading the Russian population to increasingly lose faith in the leadership of the Kremlin. Speaking on Sky News, Professor Clarke said: “We’re waiting for some sort of coup to take place, you can’t guarantee whether it will be in three months’ time, or three years, or five years time.”
The defence analyst suggested President Putin had been forced to persist with the invasion of Ukraine despite Russian military failures as the Kremlin’s authority was pinned on victory in the war.
Professor Clarke continued: “He’s got nowhere to go, Russia has got nowhere to go under his leadership.
“This war will get worse for Russia even if he succeeds in the Donbas and even if he were to succeed in taking Odessa, which I don’t think he will.
“The people around him are beginning to lose very heavily and although they depend on him for their kleptocracy.”
Professor Clarke suggested Putin would begin to face diminished support among the Russian elite as oligarchs begin to fear losing their wealth.
He added: “Russia is a mafia state and, again that’s not my phrase, that’s the phrase of most good analysts, it’s become a mafia state.
“So, the only way that the people around him can preserve any of their privileges and wealth, eventually, is to remove him.”
The defence analyst described Putin’s Russia as a “mafia state” meaning the Kremlin officials, police and military authorities within the country are highly corrupt and involved in serious organised crime.
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Despite his predictions of an impending coup against the Kremlin, Professor Clarke did not outline exactly when he believed President Putin would be removed from power.
However, he did insist that the Russian leader’s reign was coming towards its end as Putin’s wealthy allies begin to fear defeat in Ukraine.
Professor Clarke said: “Now, who will start that, we don’t know because he is also running a reign of terror which is now every bit as bad of Stalin’s reign of terror was, up to the point where Stalin died in 1953.
“For him, the outcome is certain, the timing is uncertain.”
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Professor Clarke drew comparisons between President Putin and Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin.
Towards the end of his leadership, there were plentiful rumours of a serious decline in Stalin’s health, speculation that is now mirrored in the health concerns surrounding President Putin.
Other military analysts have claimed President Putin rushed the invasion of Ukraine in order to distract from his evident decline in health and protect his appearance as a strong leader.
The Russian President initially promised a swift “special military operation” which would seize Ukrainian territory, although, as the war in Ukraine drags on into the fourth month of conflict, Putin’s military is reportedly struggling to maintain artillery supplies to fuel the offensive front.
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