Vladimir Putin could 'possibly lose his life' if he loses war in Ukraine, reveals ex-oligarch

Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the former Russian oligarch, now exiled in the UK, describes the mindset of Putin, and the moves he has left, and what the western response should be.

Former Oligarch breaks down Vladimir Putin’s mindset and the moves he has left
© Valery Tenevoy
Former Oligarch breaks down Vladimir Putin’s mindset and the moves he has left

Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the Russian exiled ex-oligarch, now living in the UK, sat down for an exclusive interview for GPS, on CNN, where he described the way he interprets Russian President Vladimir Putin’s mindset during this ‘difficult time’ for him.

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Putin is all-in on Ukraine

Khodorkovsky was once Russia’s richest man known as a former oligarch in the oil and gas industry, but then he was imprisoned for a decade on charges of tax evasion, charges which he described as being politically motivated.

When asked by Fareed Zakaria, the host of GPS, about Vladimir Putin’s threat of using nuclear weapons, Khodorkovsky said he believes that Putin is facing difficult times. He added:

If he loses in Ukraine, he will lose power and possibly his life.

On CNN, Khodorkovsky linked the possible failure of mobilisation with the use of tactical nukes. ‘If mobilisation does not yield the desired victory, the question of using tactical nukes will be on the agenda’.

In this context, Khodorkovsky added that Vladimir Putin is ready to use any method at his disposal, yet the fact that he has declared mobilisation puts that at the forefront of his plan at least until the beginning of next year.

Mobilisation is a dangerous mistake

The Independent reported earlier this year that the ex-oligarch has been warning the west about Vladimir Putin’s power gambit’ and called on Russian billionaires and other officials to declare the Russian President a war criminal.

Khodorkovsky, says Vladimir Putin has made a dangerous mistake when declaring mobilisation, because he has armed ordinary people who might turn on him after being levelled to the horrors of the war front in Ukraine, and according to him this would not be the first time that it happened in Russia’s history, ‘it happened 100 years ago’.

Former Oligarch breaks down Vladimir Putin’s mindset and the moves he has left Kevin Schmid

When asked to describe how Vladimir Putinyields power, Khodorkovsky says, it became clear to him during a meeting with the Russian President in the Kremlin that he had decided ‘to rule the country as if he is running a gang’.

According to Khodorkovsky, Vladimir Putin at the time was not a bloody dictator, ‘this happened in front of our eyes, from the annexation of Crimea in 2014 to a person who decided to invade a neighbouring country’. He added that Vladimir Putin has turned step-by-step from ‘an autocrat, to a dictator, to a bloody murdered, a bloody assasin’.

What should be the western response

When asked if Emanuel Macron, and Olaf Sholz and other western leaders should continue the dialogue with Vladimir Putin, Khodorkovsky said that he believes that the west should not rule out the dialogue. However, according to him the west has made mistakes before when approaching Vladimir Putin in dialogue, so they need to change their approach because 'when negotiating with gangster who is weak, they gain confidence.’

Khodorkovsky stated that the biggest success against Vladimir Putin is the ‘victory on the battlefield’ for Ukraine, which means to reach the liberation of all the territories according to the internationally recognised borders. This can only be reached if the supply of modern weapons continues, according to Khodorkovsky. He also concurred that the west must continue to squeeze the finance that Vladimir Putin has at his disposal, this through, tougher sanctions including tariffs on Russia’s energy industry, CNN reports.

Sources used:

-CNN: ‘Ex-oligarch says Putin made a dangerous move and is risking his life’

-Independent: ‘Exiled oligarch calls on Russian tycoons to declare Putin ‘war criminal’ over Ukraine’

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