Vladimir Putin 'vulnerable' as 'Russia will look to get rid of him if he loses war against Ukraine'

Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting with government members via a video link from a residence outside Moscow, Russia, January 11, 2023. Sputnik/Mikhail Klimentyev/Kremlin via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.
Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting with government members via a video link from a residence outside Moscow, Russia, January 11, 2023. Sputnik/Mikhail Klimentyev/Kremlin via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.

Russia has been fighting Ukraine for almost a year after launching an attack on the nation in February 2022

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Vladimir Putin is vulnerable as the war in Ukraine goes from bad to worse, according to the former head of the Secret Intelligence Service MI6.

Sir Richard Dearlove told GB News: “This is a conflict that Putin politically in Russia cannot afford to lose.

“So, if he does lose, and I think one would have to reflect on what loss means in this particular case, then I think his political future is probably over, finished.

“The mechanisms for getting rid of a leader in Russia are not clear. I think he's just in a very vulnerable situation.

FILE PHOTO: Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a news conference in Minsk, Belarus December 19, 2022. Sputnik/Pavel Bednyakov/Kremlin via REUTERS/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a news conference in Minsk, Belarus December 19, 2022. Sputnik/Pavel Bednyakov/Kremlin via REUTERS/File Photo

“There is a disastrous conflict he’s entered into, it's going from bad to worse.

“He's probably faced with another call-up. That clearly is deeply unpopular in Russia. There must be massive tensions within the leadership group inside the Kremlin, there must be massive tensions socially across Russia over this whole issue.”

In an interview on the Camilla Tominey Show he said: “I just don't think we can say if he will be deposed.

“I rashly predicted last year that on the grounds of probably his health, he gets shuffled off into a sanatorium and would disappear and then you would just have a probably a continuation of the same regime and in someone else's hands.

“I still think that that's a possibility. There's clearly something wrong with him. Physically, I think. I'm not a clinician but I know there are clinicians analysing his movements.

“There's something wrong with him and maybe that is affecting his political judgement as well.”

Sir Richard also warned that China is on a path to world domination: “China is set on a road to attempt to dominate by 2049 - halfway through this century.

“So the idea that they sit there in a sort of benign state believing in peaceful coexistence, it's rubbish.

FILE PHOTO: Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks with Chinese President Xi Jinping before an extended-format meeting of heads of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit (SCO) member states in Samarkand, Uzbekistan September 16, 2022. Sputnik/Sergey Bobylev/Pool via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY./File Photo
FILE PHOTO: Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks with Chinese President Xi Jinping before an extended-format meeting of heads of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit (SCO) member states in Samarkand, Uzbekistan September 16, 2022. Sputnik/Sergey Bobylev/Pool via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY./File Photo

“China has these ambitions, so you have the cyber threat, you have the cyber threat coming from China and from Russia.

“You have obviously the sort of destabilisation, the major war on the European continent, and the risks of escalation.

“The UK in particular, because we are a significant European power, a very direct threat.

“We still have the terrorist problem in the background and I think that also is something we have to worry about, maybe not quite to the same degree.”