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Ukraine invasion hastens Putin’s downfall, exiled opponents says

Russian President Vladimir Putin has hastened his own downfall with a war in Ukraine that he cannot win, exiled opponent the former tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky charges.

Khodorkovsky tells France 24 television in an interview from London that Putin’s decision to order an invasion of Ukraine was an “emotional” move by a leader who is increasingly “paranoid.”

“It is a suicide. He cannot win in Ukraine, even if they take Kyiv and the [eastern city] of Kharkiv. This is hastening his end.”

“The regime will decompose. It will not be rapid, we are talking about one or two years,” says Khodorkovsky, adding that the end could come about due to a collapse of the economy.

Khodorkovsky was long Russia’s most famous prisoner, jailed from 2003 to 2013 on charges his supporters said were manufactured for his daring to challenge Putin.

Russian opposition figure and former owner of the Yukos Oil Company Mikhail Khodorkovsky in Vilnius, Lithuania, Friday, Aug. 20, 2021 (AP Photo/Mindaugas Kulbis)

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