Putin will not survive war in Ukraine, says intelligence chief – Kyiv Post

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Ukraine’s intelligence chief, General Kyrylo Budanov, said President Vladimir Putin is unlikely to survive the war and that there are currently “active discussions going on in Russia as to who would be there. to replace him”.

In an interview with The war zone On Saturday, October 29, Budanov also said that the Russian-occupied eastern region of Kherson could be recaptured by the end of next month.

An estimated 40,000 Russian troops are congregating around Kherson, the general confirmed, saying that “a large part of them come from the airborne troops of the Russian Federation, Russian special operations forces and the naval infantry – therefore the most capable units that Russia has.”

He added, “These units form the backbone of the groupement and it is also reinforced by mobilized personnel.”

Budanov said a counteroffensive to retake Crimea, Ukrainian territory that was invaded and annexed by Russia in 2014, could also take place next year as Ukrainian forces continue to retake land stolen by Putin.

Reclaiming territory belonging to Ukraine and pushing Russian troops back to Ukraine’s borders in 1991 would create “a good opportunity to end the war”, he added, before declaring that Putin would not stay in the country. power.

“It is unlikely that he [Putin] survives it,” he said. “And currently there are active discussions in Russia about who would be there to replace him.”

The general’s comments come amid mounting criticism of President Putin from his own officials and supporters.

Last week, US intelligence reports revealed that Yevgeny Prigozhin, the head of the Wagner Group, Russia’s brutal private military company, had confronted Putin face to face over numerous failures in the illegal invasion of Ukraine. by Russia.

Prigozhin also criticized Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu.

According to an October 24 report by the Institute for the Study of War, Prigozhin could “pose a threat to Putin’s regime” as he “continues to gain power and establishes a military structure parallel to the Russian armed forces. “.

Earlier this month, Britain’s former MI6 chief Sir Alex Younger said he thought Putin “risked being overwhelmed by the highly political constituency he had created”.

Speaking on BBC Newsnight, Younger said Putin could be toppled by “the chauvinistic, nationalist, arguably fascist right wing who were his base of support and who are now castigating him for not going far enough and hard enough”.

However, Younger warned that Putin could be replaced by an even more extreme leader.

“We have to be very careful what we wish for here,” he said. “I personally think in due time that is what will happen. He will be replaced, but will be replaced by right-wing critics.

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