Putin ‘started war to secure his power’ says Browder
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Vladimir Putin is known around the world for his unforgiving nature and ruthless streak. The Russian President displayed these traits as he sent his troops into Ukraine earlier this year, provoking international condemnation. Just before the invasion, President Putin held a meeting with his Kremlin colleagues to discuss what their next steps would be in regards to Ukraine. Putin humiliated the head of Russia’s spy service, who stammered over his words as his boss pushed him on whether he supported the decision to recognise two Kremlin-backed separatist regions in Ukraine as independent states.
A video of the exchange showed the back and forth between Putin and Sergei Naryshkin, chief of Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service, at a security council meeting.
Putin snapped at him, saying: “Speak directly.”
Julia Ioffe, Russian-born American journalist analysed the clip while appearing on PBS’s documentary titled Putin’s Road to War.
She said: : “They went up there and dutifully said what the master wanted them to say. I think back to that security council meeting and realised how scared they must all be of him.
“It just felt like they were dancing bears, performing for their master who is impossible to please.
“You see how this all went down, how much of it was driven just by one man, his deranged ideas and everybody around him was too scared to say anything about it or resist.”
Another expert added: “It was unhinged, having his national security team, one by one, press him to invade Ukraine.
“He seemed to go off the rails, angry and berating his intelligence chief.
“It was such a strange and such an orchestrated performance…that’s the moment when I realised Putin was actually going to invade Ukraine.”
While Putin has a strong grip on the narrative in his country, some reports have suggested that there could be divisions within the Kremlin.
Last month, two senior officers in Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB), were put under house arrest by Putin.
Recently, ex-MI6 chief Sir Richard Dearlove said that the Kremlin chief “will be gone by 2023” and could be sent to a “sanatorium” to avoid a coup.
He said: “I think he’ll be gone by 2023 – but probably into the sanatorium, from which he will not emerge as the leader of Russia.
“I’m not saying he won’t emerge from the sanatorium, but he won’t emerge as the leader of Russia any longer.
“That’s a way to sort of move things on without a coup.”
He made the comments while talking to the One Decision podcast.
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Russia expert, Andrei Soldatov, also believes Putin’s position could be under threat.
Speaking to the Centre for European Policy Analysis, he said the Russian President was believed to be “very worried” and has tightened security in and around the Kremlin.
He added: “Does it matter? It matters a lot.
“The Russian President has been bracing for a coup for some weeks as has faced fierce criticism over his ‘special operation’ in Ukraine and he has purged around 150 of his spies over the constant failures.”
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