Russia: Putin facing 'real problems' warns William Taylor
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Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, a chemical weapons expert, told Express.co.uk “the tide is turning” against Putin in Russia, with “even his most staunch supporters” turning their backs on him. He described the Russian president’s appearance at the May 9 Victory Day parade as “fairly downbeat and rather pathetic”, noting that there were only a “small amount of troops” present. This comes as Russian forces appear to be taking heavy losses in the war against Ukraine.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that 27,000 Russian soldiers have died since the start of the war on February 24, 2022.
Russia may have lost as much as a third of the ground force it committed when it invaded Ukraine, according to an intelligence assessment from the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD).
In a damning update shared earlier today (May 15), the MoD said: “Russia’s Donbas offensive has lost momentum and fallen significantly behind schedule.
“Despite small-scale initial advances, Russia has failed to achieve substantial territorial gains over the past month whilst sustaining consistently high levels of attrition.
“Russia has now likely suffered losses of one-third of the ground combat force it committed in February.”
The country’s economy has also taken a major hit, plunging into a deep recession.
According to the World Bank, the economy is set to contract by 11.2 percent in 2022.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, Mr De Bretton-Gordon said: “[Putin] is running out of options, that’s for certain.
“One just gets the feeling that the tide is turning perhaps in Russia too.
“Which potentially makes him more dangerous.
“But one takes a little bit of solace from the May 9 parade, where we didn’t hear the Adolf Hitler type rhetoric and the bashing of the table that one was expecting.
“It was fairly downbeat and rather pathetic, saying [the Russians] are ‘getting the Nazis out of Ukraine’.
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“I don’t think anyone is believing that now, probably not even his most staunch supporters in Russia.
“So Putin is trying to find a way out that keeps him in the Kremlin and shows something for the endeavours over the last two months, but I think the ice is getting thinner and thinner under his feet and the only concern is if the ice begins to break and the only way out is in a big bang.”
This came after Putin used his victory day speech to peddle the debunked claim that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was an attempt to rid the country of “Nazism”.
Mr De Bretton-Gordon added: “The small amount of troops at the victory parade was a bit of a combat indicator.
“You would expect to see thousands.
“People are reporting that shelves are getting empty and people are getting disgruntled.
“For Putin himself, I should think he is really worried about the ice cracking under him at the moment, and his own mortality and his own future.”
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