Russia: Vladimir Putin shakes hands with Xi Jinping
Vladimir Putin is in a “no-win situation” in Ukraine, a former chief of the CIA has said. James Olson, the former director of counterintelligence at the US agency, said the war won’t end unless the Russian premier is killed or ousted, leaving him a “dead man walking”. Mr Olson indicated that Russian officials are ready to turn against him across several departments vital to the Russian war machine.
Speaking to the Sun, the 30-year intelligence veteran said the war is “not going well at all” for Putin.
He warned that the president’s continued premiership would only sew discord as he won’t “give up” on the invasion.
Mr Olson added that he believes this will result in him being “removed from power”.
While the premier has had the backing of Russia’s top officials for most of the war so far, he added there exists a “strong undercurrent of opposition” in the Russian military, intelligence services and “among the oligarchs”.
Russia is struggling to keep its momentum in Ukraine, with Putin having reportedly greenlit a new conscription push.
Moscow-based media outlet RBK said the president issued a decree that would call up nearly one million recruits.
Vladimir Tsimlyansky, Rear Admiral of the General Staff, said Russia aims to conscript 700,000 new soldiers.
But, so far, officials have only called up 147,000, with none willing to fight in Ukraine.
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The latest update from the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine indicated that Russian advances have failed to make any significant headway.
Posting on Facebook, the General Staff wrote that the country launched two missile strikes, 25 air strikes, and six attacks from rocket launch systems.
Attacks landed in Druzhkivka, a city in Donetsk Oblast, and “other populated areas of Ukraine”.
The post added that the attacks failed to cause significant trouble for Ukraine’s military.
Russia failed to achieve the “desired results on the battlefield” and “continues to cynically wage war against peaceful citizens”, the General Staff said.
Mr Olson said that losses in Ukraine have “disgusted” Russian generals, creating a “possible source” of an uprising against Putin.
In this eventuality, Putin is a “dead man walking”, he said, as he “would not survive that”.
He added: “I think that it is more likely that Putin will be eliminated than a military defeat.”
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