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Author Luke Harding explained Vladimir Putin believes damaging the UK is good for Russia as he revealed the KGB opportunist “wants chaos”. He noted that Putin wants to reignite a new form of the Cold War instead of finding mutual solutions. It comes as Putin has urged Russians to vote for changes that could extend his rule.
Speaking to Sky News, Mr Harding said: “Putin wants chaos.
“What you have to understand is he’s not some kind of super villan genius sitting on a leather sofa with flashing buttons making things happen all over the world.
“He’s just a classic KGB opportunist who can sniff out weakness and try to exploit divisions which are already there in the UK and elsewhere in our society and our politics to try and use them to cause damage.
“He thinks what is bad for the UK is good for Russia and vice-versa.
“He’s not interested in mutual solutions. He’s interested in rewinning a new form of Cold War.”
It comes as Putin made a last-ditch appeal to Russians on Tuesday to vote for constitutional changes that would allow him to run again for president twice, potentially extending his rule until 2036.
He spoke at the scene of a series of bloody World War Two battles on the eve of the main and last day of a seven-day nationwide vote that would change the constitution for the first time since 1993, a move critics have likened to a legal coup.
Putin said: “We are not just voting for amendments.
“We are voting for the country in which we want to live for a country for whose sake we are working and want to pass onto our children.
Putin made no mention of how the changes could affect his own career. That is consistent with the official get-out-the-vote campaign which has stressed other amendments instead.
State exit polls suggest the changes will be backed by over two thirds of voters, allowing the 67-year-old former KGB officer – if he wishes – to run for another two six-year, back-to-back stints after his current term expires in 2024.
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He has already led Russia for more than two decades.
At 60 percent, according to the Levada pollster, his approval rating remains high but well down on its peak of nearly 90 percent.
Putin has said he has yet to take a final decision on his future, though critics are convinced he will run again.
However, some analysts believe he has yet to decide, and wants to keep his options open so as not to become a lame duck.
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