Vladimir Putin will be a “threat to the world as long as he is alive” and remains an “extraordinarily dangerous figure” – despite recent gains for Ukraine.
The Russian president has seen his troops reeling from massive setbacks in the war with Ukraine, particularly with Kyiv ramping up its much-anticipated counteroffensive over recent weeks, most notably the huge attack on Russia’s Black Sea Fleet HQ.
Russia has suffered hundreds of thousands of casualties in the conflict, with morale in the country continuing to plunge as the population rebels against his war plan.
This has led to reports of strained relations in the Kremlin over Putin’s war and a possible coup against the Russian president, while question marks still remain over speculated ill health.
But Nile Gardiner, a Washington-based foreign policy expert, has issued a stark warning to the rest of the world over the threat Putin will pose for many years to come.
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“Quite often, wounded animals are more dangerous, and Putin fits that dynamic.”
This comes with Putin also being warned Ukraine may move a step closer to ending the war against Russia if Kyiv’s military is able to achieve one of its major goals.
Mykhailo Podolyak, a top aide to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, said one of his country’s strategies is to eliminate Crimea as a source of fresh troops and military aid directed at the frontline.
He said the peninsula, annexed by Russia in 2014, is particularly important for Ukraine also because some 80 percent of what is needed by Russia on the frontline transits through Crimea.
In light of the recent attacks directed at Russia’s Black Sea Fleet headquarters in Sevastopol, the top aide acknowledged Ukraine is succeeding in its attacks on Crimea.
Asked if he believes eliminating Crimea as a logistic point could lead to the end of the war, Mr Podolyak told Italian news outlet Corriere.it: “It will surely be a major success. Russians will become weaker, it will take only a few days for that to become apparent.”
Russian frontline troops will panic, he added, and Moscow’s political rhetoric will need to change and resort once again to nuclear threats.
Most notably, he believes those in the West who back Russia will “begin to speak about the need for a ceasefire or for peace talks”.
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