Moscow, Oct 7 (EFE).- Russian president Vladimir Putin turns 70 years old on Friday at his lowest point since taking power for the first time over two decades ago.
The Kremlin leader claims that leading Russia and fighting the Western hegemony is his destiny, but the reality is that he is becoming increasingly isolated, both at home and abroad.
“Apart from his closest advisors, the entire political elite hates Putin and thinks he is not in his right mind,” Guennadi Gudkov, a former Russian MP in exile in Bulgaria, claims in remarks to Efe.
“He has deprived them of capital, a normal life and a future,” Gudkov continues to say.
While Putin marks his 70th birthday, his “special military operation” in Ukraine is failing, the partial mobilization of the Russian military has led to a massive exodus of people, and he has signed an annexation of four regions that his military does not fully control.
Putin has been in power for 22 years – four as prime minister and 18 as president.
His predecessor, Boris Yeltsin, was 68 when he stepped down and the recently deceased Mikhail Gorbachev signed the demise of the Soviet Union at the age of 60.
“If Gorbachev were in the Kremlin, it is impossible to imagine what is happening now between Russia and Ukraine, since he was always against the use of force in the settlement of crises,” Pavel Grachov, Gorbachev’s last press officer, tells Efe.
But while most of Putin’s predecessors lost power at younger ages, Putin will be able to stay in power for two more six year terms after reforming the constitution in a controversial referendum held in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
If he is re-elected in 2024 and stays in power until 2030, Putin will surpass former Soviet leader Joseph Stalin’s 26-year solo rule.
If he wins elections in 2030 and remains head of the Kremlin until 2036, he would surpass other historical figures, including Catherine the Great, the last Empress of Russia, who ruled for 34 years.
According to the latest polls, Putin’s approval rating has dropped six points since the Kremlin announced a partial mobilization of reservists on September 21.
“Of course there are cracks in the Putinist system, and this is not an assumption. I have spoken to representatives of the Russian elite and their families and they are outraged and in shock,” says Gudkov.
“Russia’s defeat in the war is inevitable, the army is demoralized. It is incapable of fighting and the mobilization will only prolong hostilities. Defeat will lead to the fall of Putin’s regime within two years at most,” the former MP continues to say, adding that he believes the Russian people will soon react as the regime weakens.
The fact that Russia keeps saying it will defend “by all means” the four regions in eastern and southern Ukraine it says it has annexed shows the weakness of its positions in Ukraine, according to Gudkov.
“Putin and his army are losing, that is why they accelerated the calling of referendums and the signing of annexation treaties. He needed to create a breeding ground to legalize the occupation and launch the nuclear ordeal,” he says.
The Kremlin leader has threatened to use nuclear weapons if the West attacks Russia and has warned he is not “bluffing.”
Gudkov believes Putin will not resort to nuclear weapons but will “do everything he can to make the West believe that a nuclear attack can happen.”
Putin has been insisting for years that the decline of the West is “irreversible” and that Russia’s time has come.
The theory is based on Russian historian Lev Gumiliov’s theory of Passionism, which applies the natural sciences to explain the birth and death of empires through cyclical explosions of ethnic or national energy.