Vladimir Putin has been warned of potential ousting attempts after the “evident failure” of his invasion of Ukraine. Russia had hoped to make significant advances into its neighbouring country within days of launching an offensive but troops were forced to retreat away from the capital Kyiv after being met with fierce resistance. Defence and security expert Michael Clarke suggested Putin can expect a “Julius Ceasar scenario” as he forecast close allies of the Russian leader trying to remove him either physically or politically from the seat of power.
Speaking to LBC, Mr Clarke said: “In terms of what happens to him, my view is that is Julius Caesar scenario for him.
“Whether it’s physical death, I don’t know, but somebody has got to actually plunge the dagger in politically.
“Whoever strikes first, they’ve got to succeed, it’s very important that whoever goes first makes it happen.
“When somebody hits him politically in a way that injures him, then everyone else will pitch in.”
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Mr Clarke also warned Putin may try to further expand the scope of his invasion in a bid to secure support domestically and stamp out risks of a coup.
He continued: “And he will be removed, whether peacefully or not.
“Dictators do survive a long time and they survive by internationalising their problem.
“Unless there is a Julius Caesar scenario, which awaits him at some point, and I do believe it awaits him at some point, in the meantime he may internationalise this crisis as his only way of surviving by being more repressing at home, more warlike abroad.
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The Tory frontbencher said: “President Putin is not the force he used to be. He is now a man in a cage he built himself.
“His army is exhausted, he has suffered significant losses.
“The reputation of this great army of Russia has been trashed.
“He has not only got to live with the consequences of what he is doing to Ukraine, but he has also got to live with the consequences of what he has done to his own army.
“We have seen it before. It always gets worse. It goes for more civilian attacks, more civilian areas.”