Putin showing key sign of desperation amid wave of opposition

Vladimir Putin won't hold on to power predicts Leon Panetta

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Vladimir Putin is showing signs of “pure desperation”, a commentator has said, as his war effort appears to be grinding to a halt. Weapons expert Hamish de Bretton-Gordon told Express.co.uk that Putin’s “deck of cards is looking pretty wobbly”. He said that the Russian president is beginning to look “very stupid”.

This comes after the Russian leader announced “partial mobilisation” on September 21.

This is Russia’s first mobilisation since World War 2.

Mr de Bretton-Gordon described this as a “sign of pure desperation”, explaining: “You supposedly have the most powerful army in the world, that is being degraded to a point where you’re dragging young men off the streets.”

The weapons expert explained that Putin has been pushed to this point – which he described as a “tipping point” – partly as a result of all the training and weapons provided to the Ukrainian army by British and American forces.

He told Express.co.uk: “I think we’re seeing that all the training and advice we’ve given the Ukraine military is now paying dividends.

“Remember, the UK has been training the Ukraine army for a couple of years now, it’s not just since the war. I think that is now coming to fruition.

Mr de Bretton-Gordon added: “I think both the British and American Governments think we’re getting quite close to a tipping point now.

“Putin’s deck of cards is looking pretty wobbly at the moment.

“Not least, the Ukrainians have absolutely smashed them in the East and made them look very stupid.

“Quite apart from all the casualties that they’ve taken, this mobilisation announced is unbelievable. It is such a sign of desperation.

“You supposedly have the most powerful army in the world, that is being degraded to a point where you’re dragging young men off the streets. They’re not going willingly.”

He noted that opposition to the war is growing, explaining: “We’re seeing demonstrations, we’re seeing every fighting age male trying to get out of Russia.

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“Hopefully this will start to destabilize Putin and the idiots around him, who still seem to spout this drivel that the Russians are doing well.”

Many Russian men fled the country in the wake of the partial mobilisation announcement, sparking fears of a brain drain.

According to the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD), the exact number of people fleeing Russia is unclear but “it likely exceeds the size of the total invasion force” deployed into Ukraine when Moscow first invaded the country in February.

The MoD said: “The better off and well-educated are over-represented amongst those attempting to leave Russia.

“When combined with those reservists who are being mobilised, the domestic economic impact of reduced availability of labour and the acceleration of ‘brain drain’ is likely to become increasingly significant.”

Volodymyr Zelensky’s army has retaken more than 6,000 sq km of land since the start of September, according to the Institute for the Study of War (ISW).

The ISW said Russian forces are facing a “major operational defeat”.

Meanwhile, the US Defense Department estimated that as many as 80,000 Russian troops may have been killed or wounded since the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine began on February 24 2022.

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