Amid rumours of his position of Kremlin chief being under threat, a former Russian secret service general has claimed that Vladimir Putin is "terribly scared".
Retired General Yevgeny Savostyanov said that Putin badly misread the West’s resolve to stand up to him and did not realise his army’s incompetence.
The Mirror reported that the former chief of the Moscow division of the FSB added: “Putin perfectly understands the mood of people who have lost everything because of him.
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“Putin is now terribly scared. He understands that he is in trouble."
Putin's problems were self-inflicted by going to war in Ukraine, he said: "He lived happily [yet] with his own hands, he took and ruined everything. Amazing story.”
Putin is now “in such a psychological state that he is clinging to any opportunity to win”.
Thanks to Putin the Russian people "will live very poorly no matter what – it's already inevitable".
“Russia is slipping down into the role of the leader of the third world, where we are needed only as long as we can give money,” he said.
“The time will come, and [in Russia] we will see empty shelves, goods shortages, people impoverishment, and technological backwardness in all areas.
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“One of Putin's mistakes is that at the beginning of last summer, he did not catch the moment that the West stopped being afraid of him and would no longer retreat.
“The first mistake is to lead a campaign against the West. The second is to believe that in Ukraine, they were waiting for us with flowers and hugs.
“The third is that he, it turns out, did not know how his own army works.
“The army was built all these years in the expectation that there would be no need to fight in the West.
“The calculation was that Europe is in a hopeless energy situation. It can spin as it wants, but it will not do without Russia, so it will again be forced to devour what will be put on the table.”
Putin calculated the West would swallow his hoped-for “quick victory” in Ukraine, but he got that wrong just as he did not understand his army’s incompetence in a “tragedy of mistakes”.
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