Russia could potentially become “five different countries instead of one big country but with warlords each vying for control of the nuclear arsenal” if it begins to “fragment”, an expert has warned.
Vladimir Putin has continued to come under huge pressure, with hundreds of thousands of Russian casualties in the Ukraine war and apparent divisions within his own camp.
The Kremlin has had to deal with the fallout from the failed mutiny by the Wagner Group of mercenary fighters, with mystery surrounding the whereabouts of its leader Yevgeny Prigozhin.
Ukraine’s much-anticipated counter-offensive against Russia is slowly picking up pace, with the US also recently announcing it will send potentially deadly cluster bombs to the war-torn country.
But Nicholas Drummond, a former British Army officer who is now a defence industry analyst and consultant specializing in land warfare, has warned of a terrifying scenario for the world.
He told Daily Express US: “It is inevitable that Putin will go – it’s a question of time and when.
“Two weeks ago, this whole thing could have been over because Russia could have been involved in a civil war and would have made any move on Ukraine completely redundant.
“One other hugely important point to make – if Russia fragments, you can see it becoming four or five different countries instead of one big country but with warlords each vying for control of the Russian nuclear arsenal.
“That is a terrifying prospect and would create enormous problems with the rest of the world because these people would have no qualms about using them.”
Drummond believes the failed coup from the Wagner Group has “absolutely weakened Putin” and further exposed how “vulnerable” he has become to being ousted.
He warned that as casualties continue to rack up into the hundreds of thousands, there is increasing “anger and resentment” from the Russian population over the war in Ukraine.
The expert continued: “The coup that wasn’t a coup has absolutely weakened Putin. Every day this war continues, he gets weaker.
“It has exposed how vulnerable he is, it has exposed disagreement in his inner circle, and shown that unseating him is not as difficult as people had imagined.
“You cannot sustain 200,000 casualties. That is massive and everyone will know someone or a family that is affected by this.
“The sheer scale of the casualties will really have created anger and resentment among ordinary Russian people.”
But despite Russia’s huge struggles in the war, Drummond has warned they cannot be underestimated or discounted from this brutal war at any cost.
He concluded: “One of the narratives I have been putting out there is the Russian army seems beaten on the ground in Ukraine but they still have considerable reserves just in case. I would say they have around 40,000 men plus 1,000 tanks.
“When they have worn Ukraine down enough, they will go in again really heavily and I would imagine they would want to build an army around the same size as the one they entered Ukraine with, and try and do it properly this time.
“Russia still remains an extremely dangerous force because when you run out of tanks and artillery, it all boils down to guys with a rifle and bayonet.
“If you have more guys with those types of weapons, then you are going to prevail.
“We simply can’t afford to take our foot off the accelerator in terms of aid.”
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