Vladimir Putin is an inherently evil man who probably needs taking out, says Patrick Christys

I was wrong about Putin. I always knew he was a gangster, I always knew he was ruthless

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I was wrong about Putin. I always knew he was a gangster, I always knew he was ruthless.

But there were elements to him that I respected. The kind of strong man image. Frankly just the fact that he rose to power, kept power and didn’t take any messing from anyone.

I liked the fact that he knew Angela Merkel didn’t like dogs and so he turned up to meet her carrying a massive dog. I thought that was great.

I quite liked the fact that he didn’t toe the line, that he was a bit of a loose cannon and that, let’s be honest, the world feared him.

I knew he was dodgy, I knew he was corrupt but, if I’m being honest, and hear me out on this, a bit of me quite respected that - he has been so shameless about his dodgy dealings, and yet he’s managed to get away with it for decades. Everyone praises Jeff Bezos for being so rich that he could divorce his wife and still be the wealthiest person in the world…but he’s got nothing on Putin, has he?

Bezos went just about into space in a phallus shaped rocket - Putin has a proper space programme. Bezos owns property, Putin owns a country, and an army…

Putin has seen numerous prime ministers and presidents come and go, in a way he’s seen it all come and go, and he’s clung on. Not just clung on, but thrived. And despite knowing that he was an out and out wrong’un, there were parts of his character that I begrudgingly respected.

But like I said, I was wrong about that. Actually, to me, he’s a war criminal. He’s unhinged. He’s an inherently evil man and, in my opinion, he probably needs taking out.

The latest information to come out of Ukraine is sickening. People may say that Putin isn’t responsible for the actions of his troops, that they went rogue. No; they didn’t go rogue. When they were raping women and killing children they were doing it in the knowledge that their leader wouldn’t mind about that. That he wouldn’t care. Putin sets the standard. And that standard is that of a war criminal.

Surely, he cannot simultaneously admit that Putin has total control over Russia - its media, it’s elections, it’s society, and then not admit that he has total control and accountability when it comes to his armed forces.

If we all know that Putin is in total control of every aspect of his country and that he has, for decades, tightened his screws of power - then he’s also responsible, in my opinion, for the rape, genocide, execution and extermination of innocent Ukrainians. If Russians have committed war crimes, and he’s in total control of Russia, then he’s committed war crimes. And that’s that.