Losing Kherson would be devastating to Russia and could threaten Putin’s rule, expert says

2 September, 07:36 PM
In the opinion of political scientist Ihor Reiterovich, the Russian elites will think about removing Vladimir Putin from power due to the lack of victories on the front (Photo:Sputnik/Mikhail Klimentyev/Kremlin via REUTERS)

In the opinion of political scientist Ihor Reiterovich, the Russian elites will think about removing Vladimir Putin from power due to the lack of victories on the front (Photo:Sputnik/Mikhail Klimentyev/Kremlin via REUTERS)

If Ukraine liberates Kherson it will deal a devastating blow to Russian morale and could even threaten the reign of Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, political scientist Ihor Reiterovych said in an interview with NV Radio on Aug. 30.

“It would indeed be a colossal blow to them, in terms of their general prospects in this war they’re waging against Ukraine, and Russia’s ability to win it,” said Reiterovych.

According to the expert, if Russia’s political image is undermined, it could trigger a search for a new leader to replace Putin.

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“They can already see no triumphs on the battlefield, and there won’t be any,” Reiterovych added.

“The situation on the front lines will get increasingly worse, and there will be a need to find some sort of solution. They (the Russian elites) are starting to think such a solution doesn’t necessarily include Putin.”

He noted that panic is palpable spreading across the Russian society, especially in the wake of high-profile military disasters across military bases in occupied Crimea.

“There’s panic spreading in occupied Crimea; Russian citizens are fleeing the peninsula; there’s panic in Belgorod (Russian city near the Ukrainian border),” Reiterovych said.

“In general, the way they’re discussing everything that’s going on in social media – it’s sheer panic, fear, and tremendous doubts about Russian leadership’s ability to keep things under control.”

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