Exiled Russian Diplomat Says Putin Would Sacrifice 20 Million Russian Soldiers to Win the War with Ukraine
Edited by: Fern Sidman
According to an October report on Sky News, an exiled Russian diplomat has said that Russian President Vladimir Putin would sacrifice 20 million Russian soldiers to win the war with Ukraine and ensure his political survival.
Boris Bondarev, who quit Russia’s permanent mission at the United Nations in Geneva over the war, told Sky News that Putin’s “luck is over”.
Speaking to Sky News’ Beth Rigby, he said: “I think the 20 years of him in power have been very lucky for him. He is not smart, he is just lucky. Now I think his luck is over.”
Having worked in the field of nuclear disarmament, Bondarev described the level of Putin’s desperation, saying he is prepared to see more than a tenth of the population killed in the conflict, Sky News reported.
Bondarev added: “After losing the war, he will have to explain to his elites and his population why it is so and he may find some problems in explaining this. And after that there may be opposition who will try to depose him or he will try to purge his subordinates to find some people who could be blamed for all these problems. There will be a period of internal turmoil. You should have no doubt about it, he may sacrifice 10 or 20 million Russians just to win this war just to slaughter all Ukrainians because it’s a matter of principle. It’s a matter of political survival to him. You have to understand that, if he loses the war, it will be the end for him.”
Putin’s decision to expand Russian forces by 137,000 troops next year has led to accusations he is leading young, inexperienced conscripts to their deaths, Sky News reported.
Currently based in Geneva, Bondarev told Sky News that he made his decision to quit when tanks crossed the Ukrainian border in February, but he could not leave until May.
“I had some affairs to be settled before I quit,” he told Beth Rigby Interviews. “My cat was in Moscow at the time, so we had to get him back to Geneva and it took three months. During these two months I was very afraid. After the war started they [colleagues] all turned out to be warmongering and very content with what is going on.”
He, however, said he could “no longer work for this government, this country” … “making war crimes and terrible mistakes and crimes against our future generations, “ as was reported by Sky News.
Sky News also reported that as intelligence officials warn the Kremlin may be planning a nuclear strike in the Black Sea, Bondarev claims it is not a threat that should be taken lightly.
“I believe that there can be some plans to somehow deploy nuclear weapons during this war in Ukraine,” he said, according to the Sky News report. “The West, I think, must be consistent to remove Putin because while he and his regime is still in power in Russia, the threat of nuclear war will not go anywhere.”
He added that Putin is using the nuclear button to “compel other countries to whatever he wants”, which he says is a “new level of history of nuclear weapons” and a “very dangerous development, “ as was reported by Sky News.
Suggesting that, as “Putin thinks he’s already waging the Third World War”, Bondarev is of the opinion that NATO should consider entering the conflict, Sky News reported.
Bondarev said: “They [the Ukrainians] need offensive weapons, more long-range missiles, aircraft. So I think NATO must double down the efforts and help,” Sky News reported.
Bondarev’s words were borne out as the Associated Press reported on Thursday that residents of Kyiv clutched empty bottles in search of water and crowded into cafés for power and warmthy, switching defiantly into survival mode after new Russian missile strikes a day earlier plunged the city and much of the country into the dark.
In scenes hard to believe in a sophisticated city of 3 million, some Kyiv residents resorted to collecting rainwater from drainpipes, as repair teams labored to reconnect supplies, the AP reported.
Friends and family members exchanged messages to find out who had electricity and water back. Some had one but not the other. The AP reported that the previous day’s aerial onslaught on Ukraine’s power grid left many with neither.
Cafés in Kyiv that by some small miracle had both quickly became oases of comfort on Thursday, the AP reported.
Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said about 70% of the Ukrainian capital was still without power on Thursday morning.
As Kyiv and other cities picked themselves up, Kherson on Thursday came under its heaviest bombardment since Ukrainian forces recaptured the southern city two weeks ago, the AP reported. The barrage of missiles killed four people outside a coffee shop and a woman was also killed next to her house, witnesses said, speaking to Associated Press reporters.