A Norwegian expert says Russian President Vladimir Putin's regime is about to fall as his faltering invasion of Ukraine continues to hurt the economy.
What Happened: Iver Neumann, the director of Norway's Fridof Nansen Institute and an expert on Russia, predicted Putin's refusal to reform the country's economy, magnified by the invasion of Ukraine, could be "the beginning of the end" of his regime.
"So, since Putin's tenure sort of began 22 years ago, very little, if anything, has really happened to the economy. And I find it stunning that a trained Marxist like Putin simply doesn't grasp that material factors are of the essence," Neumann told RFE/RL in an interview.
"Putin says, 'The West will have its economy, and we will have our volya, or will, and with that, we will persevere. But it just doesn't work that way. So, I think this is the beginning of the end for Putin's regime," he added.
Putin launched the invasion of Ukraine on February 24, citing his desire to liberate the separatist Donbas region in the war-torn nation. However, as the western nations poured in their support, Putin struggled to achieve his primary objectives.
While he struggled on the war front, there have been numerous reports that indicated the dissatisfaction of his own army and the Russian people.
Neumann pointed to myriad contributing factors that could have a negative impact on Putin's economy, including the sanctions, companies halting businesses in the aftermath of the invasion, and the reduction in other countries' willingness to trade with Russia.
However, he pointed out that it is difficult to predict exactly when the regime may collapse or what could follow.
Photo: Courtesy of Prachatai on flickr
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