Russia: Kremlin facing 'tough power struggles' predicts Hodges

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Vladimir Putin’s end could happen over the next six months as political opponents will soon realise the strategic mistake Russia has made in invading Ukraine, a retired US general warned. With the West’s economic sanctions hurting the country’s economy and Russian troops losing the war, Ben Hodges assesses Kremlin insiders will quickly come to the conclusion that the war is in vain. A slew of potential Russian opponents could soon engage in “power struggles”, Mr Hodges added.

Speaking to Times Radio, Retired Commanding General for the USA Army Europe told Times Radio: “Dr Timothy Snyder, who’s an expert on the region and who I follow very closely, said: ‘Yes, it’s terrible for the Kremlin to lose in Ukraine. 

“It’s much worse to lose in Russia. And so at some point, these various power centres are going to realise that there is no positive outcome for them in Ukraine – zero. 

“So, you don’t want to be the last guy being loyal to the dictator if he’s going to fall.

“I think there’s going to be a lot of really tough power struggles, if you will, of some sort in Russia over the next six months.”

While it does not seem apparent at the moment, tension is brewing inside the Kremlin and rebellion is building, Mr Hodges claimed.

He said: “It feels like it’s already happening, but it’s not burst out on the surface yet.”

Dr Timothy Snyder, an American historian specialising Central and Eastern Europe’s modern history, said back in July that Putin’s rule is weakening amid repeated losses on the battleground. 

He tweeted: “If Russia loses the war, the people saying radical things now will have protected themselves. For my part, I tend to see the drastic proclamations as evidence that important Russians think that Russia is losing.”

However, he said that many Russian officials and pundits are pretending to believe in the Kremlin’s war propaganda to keep safe until Russia finally loses the war. 

Political figures like the former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and the Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov are already plotting their takeover of the Kremlin in what Dr Snyder described as a “future power struggle in a post-Putin Russia”. 

The warning comes as Russian troops are on the backfoot in Ukraine and leaving a trail of destruction on their way out of Ukraine, taking aim at critical energy facilities. Ukrainian cities were plunged into darkness after a barrage of Russian missiles triggered one of the worst nationalwide power outages of the war so far. 

More than two-thirds of the Kyiv was still without power on Thursday morning and several residents had no access to running water a day after Russian missiles struck the capital’s energy infrastructure.

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To avert a potentially cold winter in Ukraine, foreign ministers from the G7, including Britain, will discuss ways to further support Ukraine in ensuring its energy supply next week. 

Germany’s Foreign Secretary Annalena Baerbock said: “Russia’s attacks on civilian infrastructure are an intolerable, inhumane crime. Putin may plunge the people of Ukraine into cold and darkness with his missiles. He will never break their will for freedom and our support.”

In their quest to inflict as much economic pain to the Kremlin as possible, Joe Biden confirmed he and his allies will discuss a price cap on Russian oil.

The G7 leaders are slated to implement the price cap on sea-borne exports on Russian oil on December 5 to reduce Russia’s petroleum revenues funding the Kremlin’s war machine. 

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