Putin betrayed by Kremlin insider in blistering attack: ‘He is a weak man and greedy’

Russia: Victory Day celebrations discussed by Frank Gardner

We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info

Putin’s invasion of Ukraine looks set to rumble on for many months as the Russian President is determined to seize the predominantly Russian-speaking eastern region of Donbas. Controlling Ukraine’s old industrial heartland would be an outcome the Kremlin strongman could claim as a victory, many analysts believe, as Russia has been forced into a humiliating military drawdown in other areas of Ukraine. The notoriously secretive Russian leader has spoken in vague terms about the ongoing conflict, telling troops on the country’s annual Victory Day last month that they are fighting to secure “our homeland” and “for our people in Donbas”.

Although Putin may be difficult to understand, some of the best insights into his personality come from those who have served alongside him, such as the fallen oligarch Sergei Pugachev.

The billionaire and former Russian Senator, who was known as ‘Putin’s banker’, fell out with the President and once launched a blistering attack against his former friend.

Speaking about Putin for the BBC documentary, ‘Putin: The New Tsar’ in 2018, he said: “First of all, he is a weak man.”

He added: “Secondly, he is an envious and greedy man. Thirdly, he is a man who always lies.”

Pugachev got closer than most people to Putin, who now rules Russia with a tight-knit cabal of security chiefs, known as the ‘Siloviki’.

JUST IN: Macron set to infuriate Ukraine AGAIN in call for Kyiv to ‘negotiate peace with Russia’

The two men’s families would go on holiday together and the billionaire bought his friend’s daughters their first computers.

Opening up further about their former friendship and Putin’s early life, Pugachev said: “I have known Putin since 1992.

“We were neighbours at our dachas [country houses]. Here is my house. Here is his.

“Putin is a former KGB officer. He was very low-level though. There were thousands like him.

“Thrown out by the system, the Soviet Union, onto the street.

“Putin did not have career ambitions of any kind, neither career ambitions, nor political ambitions.”

He added: “They were totally out of the question. It was an accident that Putin moved on to the Mayor’s office.”

Putin entered politics in 1990 and was appointed as an adviser to the Mayor of St Petersburg at the time, Anatoly Sobchak.

The Mayor needed a tough figure in office during a tumultuous time for Russia as the Soviet Union crumbled and crime was rife.

Putin’s background in intelligence fitted the bill and he took up several positions as he was mentored by Sobchak.

Putin’s panic as terrifying new Panther tank unleashed in response to Ukraine war [LATEST]
Donald Trump’s fortune exposed as ex-president ‘nowhere near as rich as he boasts’ [INSIGHT]
Ukrainian soldiers carrying out grim task hunting for dead Russians: ‘We follow our nose’ [ANALYSIS]

After the Mayor failed in his bid for re-election, Putin moved to Moscow and worked for Boris Yeltsin.

It was in the Russian capital that Putin’s meteoric rise to power was sealed as he was made the country’s Prime Minister and eventually President.

Pugachev helped bankroll the former KGB officer’s journey towards the presidency, having made a fortune after the Soviet Union collapsed.

At his height, the oligarch owned a coal mine, shipyards, which he bought at a discount, and luxury brands.

However, the billionaire was dramatically cut adrift from Putin’s inner circle after the jewel in his business empire, Mezhprombank, failed.

Pugachev denied the Kremlin allegations that he enriched himself from the bank before it went bankrupt.

However, Russian debt collectors pursued the matter through the legal system in the UK, where Pugachev had lived for a period. The oligarch now lives in exile in France.

‘Putin: The New Tsar’ is available to stream on BBC iPlayer.

Source: Read Full Article