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Russia. Mikhail Khodorkovsky: I doubt the regime will collapse before 2026. Better for Putin to leave voluntarily

Russia. Mikhail Khodorkovsky: I doubt the regime will collapse before 2026. Better for Putin to leave voluntarily

Mikhail Khodorkovsky, one of the leading critics of Vladimir Putin, in an interview published on Tuesday, assessed that the chances of the regime’s collapse in Russia before 2026 are slim. He also expressed the opinion that it would be impossible to seize power in Russia “without violence or threats to use it”.

– It is doubtful that the regime of Russia collapsed earlier than in 2026. I don’t mean Putin himself, but the regime, he said Mikhail Khodorkovskyone of Putin’s leading critics, in an interview with Meduza published on Tuesday.

Khodorkovsky noted that 2026 is an optimistic variant. – Of course, some miracle can happen and it will happen tomorrow. But it may be the other way around and the regime will last until 2035 or even longer – he added.

Khodorkovsky: Putin in 2024 will have to leave

Asked if that means that war in Ukraine will last at least until 2026, the former head of the Yukos oil company replied that “it does not have to be a hot war.”

– I believe that in view of what we are observing, Russia will lose militarily, and Putin will have to leave in 2024, because he will become a burden for his comrades and if he wisely approaches the matter – although I am not sure if he is capable of it – it will be safer for him if he leaves voluntarily. The regime will then exist without it, a new cabinet will be created, which will last until 2026. After that, it will be possible to talk about a change of power – he added.

Vladimir PutinEPA / GAVRIIL GRIGOROV / KREMLIN POOL / SPUTNIK

He also expressed the opinion that Putin had led to a situation which, given some misunderstandings and mutual misunderstanding of the interlocutors, could lead not only to the end of Western civilization, but to the end of humanity as such. “Putin has threatened the world with nuclear weapons more than once,” he recalled.

Khodorkovsky on the possible collapse of Russia

When asked if he thought the break-up of Russia was real, Khodorkovsky replied that such a situation was possible and “lamented it”. Putin – as the former oil magnate noted – has resulted in many regions seeing themselves outside the structures of the Russian Federation, which, if the war is lost, will become very weak.

– New borders will be created, which will be hot spots, along the lines of the borders that arose after the collapse of the Soviet Union. There will be nuclear weapons on both sides of these borders, they will not disappear after all – he pointed out.

Khodorkovsky did not answer the question as to which regions might want to leave the Russian Federation, but said that the self-sufficiency (e.g. raw material) of individual entities is not enough to create a state, and the insufficient competence of the elites of these regions should also be taken into account.

Khodorkovsky: the palace coup is the least real

He also expressed the opinion that it would be impossible to take power from the current rulers in Russia “without violence or the threat of its use”. “I am absolutely convinced of that,” he said. He stressed, however, that the scenario of the threat of violence is more real than its use, but the least real is the “palace coup” or the voluntary democratization of the regime. Who would use this violence, Khodorkovsky did not say.

Mikhail Khodorkovsky Shutterstock

Mikhail Khodorkovsky is an entrepreneur, at the beginning of the 21st century he was the richest man in Russia, former co-founder and president of the Yukos concern. He was sued on bogus charges for criticizing Putin’s policy. He spent 8 years in a penal colony.

He was pardoned by Putin in 2014, before the Olympic Games in Sochi (in common opinion, it was a gesture aimed at enhancing Putin’s image in the west), and has been in exile ever since.

Main photo source: EPA / GAVRIIL GRIGOROV / KREMLIN POOL / SPUTNIK

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