The catastrophe in Ukraine is weakening Putin’s position inside Russia, says former NATO chief Sir James Everard, and “hardmen” in the Kremlin are probably already planning a coup
Vladimir Putin is being threatened by “hardmen” in the Kremlin after his disastrous campaign in Ukraine, and the Russian leader may be plotting to invade other countries just to “distract” his generals, a senior military expert has said.
Former NATO chief Sir James Everard says Putin has weakened his own position inside Russia, and he has weakened Russia’s position in the world.
The attack on Ukraine has prompted Finland and Sweden to reconsider their neutral status, and both countries are now reportedly considering joining NATO. Putin’s greatest fear was having NATO troops right on Russia’s borders – something he has now all but guaranteed.
This miscalculation will not go down well in the Kremlin.
Sir James Everard, who served as NATO’s deputy supreme allied commander in Europe, told The Sun that a coup d’état against Putin was becoming increasingly likely.
He added that Putin could decide to act against another of Russia’s neighbors.
However, he added: “If you ask people who know Russia what is going to happen next, they are effectively saying it’s on one person’s mind.
“Putin could escalate beyond its borders”.
He said the current standoff in Ukraine is the start of “a long war for Ukraine and a new cold war for NATO.”
Sir James added: “I think Putin is in trouble. Finland and Sweden want to join NATO.
“Ultimately he tried to stop NATO expansion and that failed. His only way out in Ukraine is escalation.”
But whatever decision Putin makes, he must make it soon because of the threat at home.
“Putin is in a terrible place,” says Sir James, “it was entirely his own business.
“There are tough men in Russia who would have removed him if they lost Ukraine to NATO and the EU.
“He acted and now the whole thing has gone wrong and he’s vulnerable again and he’s in trouble.”