Putin could be replaced by ‘even worse’ leader, defence expert says

Russia: Putin's end 'coming much faster' says Tack

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Vladimir Putin could be replaced by an “even worse” political figure as the new Kremlin leader. The leader of the much-discussed ‘Wagner’ Group has been touted as one potential alternative.

Many reports since Moscow’s February invasion of Ukraine have focussed on the health – understood to be deteriorating – of Putin.

Some have described the “special military operation” as his last-ditch effort, before the end of his reign, to make a mark.

Putin’s potential downfall has been described by some commentators as a possible way out of the war in Ukraine.

But one defence expert has suggested the Kremlin leader’s departure from power could, in fact, bring more negatives for Ukraine.

Nicolas Gosset, a researcher at the Royal Higher Institute for Defence, said such a scenario should not be ruled out.

He said: “We must not rule out the scenario of having a leader even worse than Putin at the head of Russia.”

Mr Gosset cited Yevgeny Prigozhin as such an alternative.

Prigozhin, he said, “has declared political ambitions with the prospect of creating a political party”.

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The Putin confidant is understood to be the head of the paramilitary organisation Wagner Group.

This has gained much attention in the ongoing war in Ukraine.

Reports suggest the group has recruited Russian convicts among its ranks to help efforts in Ukraine.

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“Social discontent could grow and lead to a revolt by the population.”

Former Chief of the Secret Intelligence Service, Sir Alex Younger, has also suggested Putin could be replaced by a more “extreme” political figure.

He last month told the BBC: “We have to be careful what we wish for.

“I think he will be replaced in due course by critics on the [extreme] right.”

Additional reporting by Maria Ortega.

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