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Putin chose war for fear of losing power – POLITICO

Bill Browder, the American businessman who heads the Global Magnitsky Justice Campaign, believes Russian President Vladimir Putin chose to wage war on Ukraine for fear of losing his grip on Russia.

“I don’t think this war is about NATO; I don’t think this war is about the Ukrainian people or the EU or even Ukraine; this war is about starting a war in order to stay in power,” Browder told POLITICO.

“Putin is a dictator, and he is a dictator whose intention is to stay in power until the end of his natural life,” Browder said.

The Russian president has “thought very carefully about the odds of losing power,” Browder added, pointing to the popular uprising against Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko and this year’s riots in Kazakhstan. “He figured the writing is on the wall for him unless he does something dramatic,” Browder said.

So far, at least 6,495 Russian anti-war protesters have been arrested across Russia, according to a tally by human rights portal OVD Info.

Putin “just thinks short term…” how can I stay in power from this week to the next? And then next week to next? ”He takes a ‘prison yard’ approach where he feels the need to look strong at all times, Browder said.

“I feel terrified,” Browder said of the war in Ukraine, because Putin is “constantly getting worse…and he’s also someone who always has to save face.”

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