‘Vladimir Putin Will Be Killed By…’: Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky Makes Tall Claim | World News

Kyiy: Amid the ongoing fighting with Russia, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has claimed that Russian President Vladimir Putin will be killed by his close confidants. The Ukrainian leader made this claim in a documentary titled ‘Year’ featuring him, according to a report in Newsweek. In the documentary, the Ukrainian leader can be seen claiming that a period of “fragility” in the Russian President’s leadership will come, prompting his “close aide to act against him.” The documentary was released on Friday to coincide with the first anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Newsweek reported.

The Washington Post had earlier reported that Putin’s closest allies are growing increasingly frustrated with him after videos from the battlefront showed their soldiers complaining and crying.

In a related development, Zelenskyy on Sunday fired the commander of the joint forces operation Major Gen Eduard Mykhailovich Moskalov, reported CNN. Moskalov had been appointed to the position last March when Lt Gen Oleksandr Pavliuk was appointed head of the Kyiv regional military administration. Zelenskyy did not provide an explanation for Moskalov`s dismissal, but it`s the latest in a long line of recent leadership changes made by his administration, reported CNN.

Ukrainian authorities have conducted a series of anti-corruption searches and crackdowns across the country, and a variety of high-profile dismissals have followed. It is not yet clear if Moskalov`s firing was connected to the recent corruption purge, reported CNN.

As the war in Ukraine enters its second year, CIA Director William Burns has Sunday that Russian President Vladimir Putin is being ‘too confident’ in his military’s ability to grind Ukraine into submission.

Burns, in a television interview, said the head of Russia’s intelligence services had displayed in their November meeting ‘a sense of cockiness and hubris’ that reflected Putin’s own beliefs that he can make time work for him, that he believes he can grind down the Ukrainians, that he can wear down our European allies, that political fatigue will eventually set in.

Meanwhile, Putin said in an interview broadcast on Sunday that after Russia suspended its participation in the last arms control agreement with Washington, it would ‘take into account’ the nuclear weapons capabilities not only of the United States but of other NATO countries such as France and Britain.

Putin had said in a speech suspending Russia’s role in the 2010 New START treaty earlier this week that France and Britain, not parties to the agreement, had joined the United States in targeting Russia with nuclear weapons. In an interview with Russian TV that was recorded on Wednesday and broadcast on Sunday, he said he took the action to “preserve our country, ensure security and strategic stability.”

He added, “In today’s conditions, when all the leading NATO countries have declared their main goal to inflict a strategic defeat on us, to make our people suffer … How can we not take into account their nuclear capabilities? Moreover, they supply weapons to Ukraine worth tens of billions of dollars.”

Putin was repeating his common theme that the West is bent on destroying Russia and that his one-year-old fight in Ukraine is part of a battle for Russia’s very survival. He argued a year ago that his overarching goal in invading Ukraine was to reduce what he perceived as threats to Russia’s security and has since cited those as justification for potentially using nuclear weapons in Ukraine.

As Western military aid poured into the invaded country, the Russian leader and his foreign minister have portrayed the war as a de facto fight between Russia and not just Ukraine but NATO.

Ukraine’s allies have emphasised they want to avoid becoming direct fighting parties in the war while equipping Ukraine to defend itself and to retake Russian-captured territory. In suspending his country’s participation, Putin said Russia can’t accept US inspections of its nuclear sites while Washington and its NATO allies seek Russia’s defeat in Ukraine.

The Russian President emphasized that Moscow was not withdrawing from the pact, and the Russian Foreign Ministry said the country would respect the treaty’s caps on nuclear weapons and continue notifying the US about test launches of ballistic missiles.

In the interview with Russian TV, Putin didn’t elaborate on how he would ‘take into account’ the nuclear arsenals of NATO countries beyond those of the United States but indicated he was open to ”discussion of this topic from the center of the field.”

Putin also used the interview to allege that the West wants to break up Russia, a notion that he has repeatedly used to justify Russian aggression in Ukraine. “They have one goal: to disband the former Soviet Union and its fundamental part, the Russian Federation,” Putin said.

Appealing to his citizenry’s nationalistic sentiments, Putin predicted that if the West succeeds in destroying Russia and establishing control, Russians may not survive as a distinct ethnic group. ”There will be Muscovites, some kind of people from the Urals, and so on,” he said of Russia’s possible fragmentation into regional groupings. The West could only partly accept Russia into the so-called ”family of civilized peoples,” breaking the country into separate pieces, he theorized.

Claiming threats to Russians’ survival is a favourite Putin theme, and Tatiana Stanovaya, a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, noted in a recent interview with The Associated Press that ”for him, it’s all about protection, and he believes that the Russian world has been attacked from the West, and Ukrainians are a part of this Russian world.”

Claiming the West and not Russia provoked the war in Ukraine is also a favourite Putin topic that many Russians buy into, said Fiona Hill, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution who served in the past three US presidential administrations.

US President Joe Biden countered some of Putin’s claims in a speech in Poland’s capital, Warsaw, on Tuesday. ”The United States and the nations of Europe do not seek to control or destroy Russia. The West was not plotting to attack Russia, as Putin said today,” Biden said. “And millions of Russian citizens who only want to live in peace with their neighbors are not the enemy.

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