Alpha male Putin will not see his next birthday as his leader position wanes

Russian president Vladimir Putin "will not see his next birthday" as one exiled Russian official claims the despot may be on his last legs.

Despite the "alpha male" clinging to power since the turn of the century, former Russian opposition figure Ilya Ponomarev has said the president will not see 2024.

Ponomarev, who was a member of Russia's State Duma from 2007 to 2016, but is now a citizen of Ukraine, is taking lead on a movement he hopes will transition Russia away from its despot-led state.

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It comes as the opposition member claims that failed moves in Kyiv for Putin mean his inner circle could turn on the 70-year-old.

Ponomarev said: "Putin's power resides in his position as an alpha male, as the person who is invincible. 2022 was the year when this position started to wane. My forecast still remains that he will not see his next birthday.

"My personal dream obviously is to see [Putin] in The Hague but I don't think that he will make it. Those around him will not allow him to go to The Hague, because his testimony may actually be very harmful for them… [so] he will be killed."

The opposition member also had stern words for the future of Russia after despot Putin was removed, saying that the 70-year-old could be convinced "to step down".

He added that the situation in Russia could involve "so-called system liberals which would convince (Putin) to step down and leave the floor to them and that they would negotiate with the West."

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Ponomarev added: "Or it can be a more radical revolutionary scenario. I personally obviously put in my hopes with the latter rather than with the former."

The former State Duma members comments come as Putin faces a slate of alleged health issues, with the despot seemingly on borrowed time.

Just this year, Daily Star reported that Putin had suffered a coughing fit during his New Year's speech.

Health rumours have been ongoing since the start of the war in Ukraine, but a coughing fit broadcast to Russia appears to have led to some hurried clearances of the throat for Putin.

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