VLADIMIR Putin faces being forced out of power within three months despite his nuke threats, the tyrant’s former PM has claimed.
Mikhail Kasyanov said “factors growing simultaneously” seriously threatened Putin‘s grip on power.
Speaking with Sky News, Kasyanov said his former boss had a matter of weeks left as Russia‘s commander-in-chief.
“I don’t think there is anyone in the circle of Putin who can make him leave,” Kasyanov said.
“Mr Putin himself should come to this understanding. I think three factors growing simultaneously could lead Mr Putin to such a decision to somehow escape.”
He said the first was the growing strength of the Ukrainian army, which was winning more territory back from Russian forces.
Kasyanov suggested the Russian army could not to compete against Ukrainian forces, who had the support of the NATO and the West.
The second is that Putin’s mobilisation order caused social unrest to grow inside Russia, leading to a significant drop in support from ordinary Russians.
And lastly, Western sanctions against Russia were beginning to bite, causing an economic headache for Putin.
“In three or four months I believe there will be a crucial change,” he said.
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Kasyanov, who served as Putin’s PM between 2000 and 2004, said Putin’s speech “reminded me of one of the African leaders in the 90s and even the 70s. It was empty”.
He called Putin’s speech a “strange historical lecture with the manipulation of facts”.
He said: “Mr Putin is nervous. He has nothing to counter the offensive operations of the Ukrainian army.
“He called mobilisation. Very unpopular, very unpopular. Social unrest started to grow against Putin. Those people who were neutral to Mr Putin now with this mobilisation are starting to reconsider their attitude”.
When asked when Putin could step down, Kasyanov said: “I cannot see – because I know many of the people around Putin – pressing him to leave. He himself probably could make such a decision soon.”
He added: “That is the most peaceful way. It may not happen tomorrow but in a couple of months, it could be the case.”
It comes as Putin faces the first signs of opposition to the “special military operation” from Russia’s mainstream establishment.
The well-read newspaper Nezavisimaya Gazeta printed an editorial questioning “senior Russian officials” for making “nuclear threats”.
“It is incredible that today… high-ranking officials in Russia start talking about the nuclear button,” it read, according to the BBC.
“They do this without a second thought… They even forget to make the qualification so important for the world to hear: ‘Of course, we mustn’t allow this under any circumstance.’
“To allow, in thoughts and words, the possibility of a nuclear conflict is a sure step to allowing it in reality.”
Protests have also broken out across Russia while men eligible for conscriptions have fled the country or try to break their legs to get out of duty.
The stark threat coincides with Russia facing even more humiliating setbacks on the battlefield in Ukraine as President Zelensky’s men continue their lightning counter-offensive in the east.
Ukrainian fighters have retaken Kharkiv region in the northwest and are about to encircle Russian troops in the strategically-important town of Lyman.
The fall of Lyman would be an embarrassing defeat for Putin hours after annexing the territory into Russia.
Ukraine’s success has made Putin increasingly desperate for a victory and prompted the deranged leader to declare a “partial” mobilisation of Russian civilians.
Putin formally inked decrees declaring Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia to be Russian territory following a series of sham referendums.
The ruthless land grab was made official at the Georgievsky Hall of the Great Kremlin Palace in a signing ceremony.
NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said the move “represents the most serious escalation since the start of the war” while the US said it would provide Ukraine with more equipment.