(TheLastPatriotNews.com) – A former high-ranking CIA official forecasted that Russian leader Vladimir Putin might be toppled by his military, which is getting outraged by “catastrophic losses” in the war on Ukraine.
According to the agency’s former chief of counterintelligence, James Olson, Putin is already a “dead man walking” as violent regime change in Moscow is becoming more likely.
“It is not going well at all. I believe Putin is in a no-win situation now,” the 30-year CIA veteran told The Sun, as cited by The New York Post.
Olson noted that Putin would never agree to pull out of Ukraine unless Moscow is allowed to keep in the entire four regions, which Russia occupies partially and annexed illegally in September.
“If Putin stays in power, there will be a long war because he will not give up — but I do not think that Putin is going to stay in power. I believe that he will be removed from power,” the retired CIA operative declared.
He added that the 70-year-old president of Russia might be assassinated or dethroned in an uprising.
“I think Putin will be taken out. I would not rule out assassination,” added Olson, now an international affairs professor at Texas A&M University.
In his words, the top brass of Russia’s military is “disgusted” by the vast combat troop losses in Ukraine, which means Putin’s generals are likely to turn on him.
“He would not survive that. I think that it is more likely that Putin will be eliminated than a military defeat,” the former CIA counterintelligence chief said.
According to the Ukrainian government, over 175,000 Russian troops have been killed in battle since Putin invaded on February 24, 2022, while over 21,000 units of Russian military equipment have been destroyed.
A recent estimate by the UK Ministry of Defense put the number of Russian killed and wounded at about 200,000.
At the start of the invasion, the Russian leadership expected Ukraine would crumble and surrender in three days, but Ukrainian resistance turned out to be very stubborn and efficient, the report notes.
According to the former CIA official, Putin’s fate as the leader of Russia depends on how the war will go for the Russians.
“I believe that there is a strong undercurrent of opposition to Putin in the military, in the intelligence services, among the oligarchs,” Olson said.
“Some patriotic Russians will decide they need to eliminate Putin” to end the war of attrition, he predicted.
“Putin is bleeding Russia and he cannot do that forever,” the former counterintelligence chief declared.
Olson claimed further that if Putin remained in power for an extended period, the war could go beyond Ukraine and involve Moldova, another former Soviet republic that is also a known Russian target.