Vladimir Putin 'won't survive' in the long term says Steele
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Alex Konanykhin left Russia in 1992 and seven years later became the first Russian citizen to be granted political asylum in the United States from post-Soviet Russia. Last week, the businessman announced via social media he is offering a reward of $1 million for the arrest of Putin. He told Express.co.uk his motives for doing this were because he does not want to be “confused for most Russians who either actively supported or are silently complicit in Putin’s war against Ukraine”. Mr Konanykhin’s social media post received millions of likes and huge media attention.
He said the reaction to his post shows Putin “is going to be a close second to Hitler in history in the number of people who would cheer his demise”.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has now entered its third week and the latest figures show over 500 civilians have died – 41 of whom were children.
There are a number of theories surrounding Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine, such as a mission to gain more territory and his determination to stop Ukraine from joining NATO.
However, Mr Konanykhin believes this is all a “pretence” – and believes there are “eerie similarities” between the actions of Putin and those of Hitler.
He said: “Putin is imitating Hitler to such a degree as if he got Hitler’s playbook out of the archives, and is simply going through it page by page.”
He believes that Putin is acting out of “fear” and for “self-preservation”.
Mr Konanykhin continued: “He doesn’t have the legitimacy of a lawfully elected leader, as such, he can only rule by fear, he must be feared to remain in power.
“And to do so, he projects an image of somebody who makes NATO, the United States and the European Union afraid, bow to his demands, gives him goodies whenever he starts blackmailing them.
“He needs to be able to project an image of being the most feared person in the world in order to save his life or freedom.
“Because the moment he is out of power, he’s in jail.”
Putin has been President of Russia since 2012 and was previously in power from 2000 – 2008.
He was also the Prime Minister of Russia from 1999-2000 and again from 2008-2012.
In 2021, following a referendum, he signed into law a constitutional amendment that would allow him to run for re-election twice more, potentially extending his presidency until 2036.
Before his career in politics, Putin was a KGB foreign intelligence officer for 16 years.
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Mr Konanykhin added that Putin is “scared”, not of NATO, but of the people closest to him.
He said: “He’s scared, because he knows what happens to dictators like him who have shed so much blood and committed so many crimes.
“He’s afraid of his close circle.
“That’s what typically happens in tyrannies during a coup d’etat.
“Just ask Caesar. One day you’re the ruler the next day. You have a knife in your back.
“So he’s doing rationally what he has to in order to keep himself in power.”
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