Predicts Ongoing War Of 2 Years, Former Russian Prime Minister Surprised Vldimir Putin Reckless Invasion of Ukraine

Predicts Ongoing War Of 2 Years, Former Russian Prime Minister Surprised Vldimir Putin Reckless Invasion of Ukraine
Predicts Ongoing War Of 2 Years, Former Russian Prime Minister Surprised Vldimir Putin Reckless Invasion of Ukraine

International Military - The former prime minister (PM) of Russia, Mikhail Kasyanov, never in his worst nightmare imagined that President Vladimir Putin would dare to launch a full-scale war in Ukraine. Speaking to AFP in a video interview, the Russian prime minister from 2000-2004 estimated the war would last up to two years.

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However, he believes Russia can eventually return to the path of democracy. Kasyanov, 64, who championed close ties with the West during his time as Russia's prime minister, said that, like many Russians, he did not believe in the weeks leading up to the war that it would actually happen.

Kasyanov only understood that Putin was not bluffing when he saw him summon the country's top officials to a security council meeting three days before the invasion on February 24. "When I saw the meeting of the Russian Security Council, I realized, yes, there will be war," Kasyanov said.

He felt that Putin was not thinking properly. “I only know these people and by looking at them I see that Putin is out of it. Not in a medical sense but in a political sense," he said. "I know a different Putin."

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Since being sacked by Putin, Kasyanov has joined the Russian opposition and has become one of the Kremlin's most vocal critics. He is now the leader of the opposition People's Freedom Party or Parnas.

Kasyanov said Putin, a former KGB agent who turns 70 in October, had succeeded over the past 20 years to build a system based on impunity and fear.

"This is the achievement of a system which, with the encouragement of Putin as head of state, has begun to operate in an even more cynical, cruel way than in the later stages of the Soviet Union," he said. “Basically, this is a KGB system based on complete lawlessness.

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It's clear that they don't expect any punishment." Kasyanov said he had left Russia because of the war and was living in Europe. However, he refused to reveal his location out of concern for his safety. His close ally and fellow opposition politician, Boris Nemtsov, was shot dead near the Kremlin in 2015.

Putin's most famous critic; Alexei Navalny, 46, was poisoned with a nerve agent in 2020 and is now in prison. Kasyanov estimated the war in Ukraine could last up to two years and said it was imperative that Ukraine win.

"If Ukraine falls, the Baltic states will be next," he said. The outcome of the war, he said, would also determine Russia's future. Kasyanov said he "categorically" disagreed with French President Emmanuel Macron's suggestion that Putin should not be humiliated.

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He also rejected calls for Ukraine to cede territory to end the war. "What has Putin done to deserve this?" he asked. "This is an overly pragmatic position." "I believe this is wrong and hope the West will not go down that path," he said.

Kasyanov believes Putin will eventually be replaced by a "pseudo-replacement" controlled by Russia's security services. But, he continued, his successor would not be able to control the system for long and Russia would eventually hold free and fair elections. "I am sure Russia will return to the path of building a democratic state," he said.

He estimates it will take about a decade to "de-Communize" and "de-Putinize" the country. "It will be difficult, especially after this criminal war," he said. He said trust had to be re-established with European countries, whom he called Russia's "natural partners".

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Critics have in the past accused the Russian opposition of being divided, but Kasyanov said he believed things would now be different. "I have no doubt that now, after the tragedy we have all witnessed, the opposition will unite," he said.

According to him, Russia will face a huge task to rebuild their country. “Everything has to be rebuilt. Basically, the whole set of economic and social reforms has to start all over again," he said. "This is a very big and difficult task and must be completed."

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