Ukraine LIVE: Desperate Putin ‘may sacrifice 20 million soldiers’ for political survival

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Vladimir Putin is willing to sacrifice 20 million soldiers to ensure political survival, an exiled diplomat has warned. Boris Bondarev, who left Russia’s permanent mission at the UN in opposition to the Ukraine war, said that Putin is prepared to see a tenth of the population killed in the conflict.

He told Sky News: “I think the 20 years of him in power have been very lucky for him. He is not smart, he is just lucky.

Now I think his luck is over. You should have no doubt about it, he may sacrifice 10 or 20 million Russians just to win this war just to slaughter all Ukrainians because it’s a matter of principle. It’s a matter of political survival to him. You have to understand that, if he loses the war, it will be the end for him.”

Putin’s decision to expand Russian forces by 137,000 soldiers next year has led to claims that he is leading young and inexperienced fighters to their deaths. 

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