Russia-Ukraine war: Putin will lose, regime ends soon – Exiled oligarch, Khodorkovsky


Former Russia’s wealthiest man, Mikhail Khodorkovsky is outraged about Russia’s continued invasion of Ukraine.

In a chat with BBC Hardtalk’s Stephen Sackur, the exiled oligarch reiterated his stance that President Vladimir Putin’s “regime will end soon”.

Khodorkovsky expressed sadness that Ukraine was being bombarded with several people dead or wounded.

More than 5 million people have fled the country in Europe’s worst refugee crisis since World War II.

Although he and his parents were born in Russia, Khodorkovsky disclosed that their roots are in Ukraine.

The critic described the ongoing battle as a civil war in which he’s losing friends and people he once had close relationship with.

“It’s a terrible feeling when your own motherland starts a war against the motherland of your ancestors…For people like me whose whole family originally came from Ukraine.

“We are simply ending up on different sides of the barricades. Am I ashamed? Yes, I am ashamed. Because I cannot explain to every Ukrainian that this is not my doing.

“Russia history teaches us that defeat in war – and Putin is highly likely to lose this war – brings major problem for the regime within two years.

“I think that Putin’s regime won’t just face problems but, with a high degree of probability, will not survive them.

“Two to five years…This is how long I believe this regime will last after Putin has made such a dramatic mistake as a dictator.”

Khodorkovsky said Putin believes he is winning the war and will be able to overcome the problems in his military and initial plans to take over Ukraine.

On whether Putin will go all the way by using chemical weapon, the 58-year-old responded: “I don’t think so”.

“If he suffers a defeat in the battle over Donbass, he will have to withdraw. I believe Putin is not as strong as many imagine.”

He added that Putin can only use weapons of mass destruction if the United States and allies in the West fail to warn of severe consequences.

“If they don’t plead with him and tell him that there will be an equivalent response, I don’t believe Putin will give his generals the order to use nuclear weapons”.

Khodorkovsky, former Yukos CEO, was jailed for nearly a decade on charges of fraud and tax evasion. He insists the trial was politically motivated.

After pardon by Putin and release from prison in late 2013, Khodorkovsky left Russia and was granted residency in Switzerland. He currently resides in London.

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