Putin’s army is “not far” from losing the Ukraine war, according to a veteran of Russian politics. The Russian President and his generals believed they would be able to declare a swift victory in Ukraine, after launching their invasion in February 2022. Now, after just over a year of bitter fighting, Putin’s army is still struggling to make much headway in its military campaign.
The focus of recent fighting has been centred in Ukraine’s eastern provinces, as the Russians desperately seek to assert their control over the Donetsk region.
Russian units including Wagner mercenaries are currently bogged down in a vicious and bloody attritional battle to take the Donbas city of Bakhmut. The battle has been raging for months and has cost the Russians tens of thousands of men for incremental gains.
Military analysts at both the UK’s Ministry of Defence and for the Washington-based think-tank The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) have suggested that the Russian assault there is stalling, despite concerted efforts break the will of the Ukrainian army.
A key Kremlin opponent told the Express.co.uk that Putin’s army was on the brink of defeat and this would pave the way for regime change in Russia.
Alexander Osovtsov said: “My vision is that all the plans of Putin and his generals will be ruined.
“They wanted to get Kyiv in three days. And today it is rather funny to think they believed that was possible.
“What’s going on? The Russian army which they presented as a terrible and strong force is fighting for Vuhledar, Bakhmut and is spending month by month in the attempts to occupy such towns and even villages.
“And of course it means they are not far from losing this war at all.”
He added: “Normally such regimes have to be finished and destroyed after the military defeat.
“That’s why we are doing our best to prepare ourselves and to replace the current authorities of Russia.”
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The 65-year-old is a veteran of Russian politics and was at the forefront of the pro-democracy movement that toppled the Communists in the Soviet Union in the early 1990s.
He served on the Moscow City Council and was also elected as an MP for the Democratic Choice party, that was founded by Yegor Gaidar – a former Russian Prime Minister under President Boris Yeltsin, who was responsible for introducing the market reforms that transformed the command economy after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Mr Osovtsov is currently a member of the Executive Council of the Congress of People’s Deputies (CPD).
The CPD is a political forum of around 76 anti-Putin politicians determined to overthrow the present dictatorial regime and build a democratic Russia.
In February it held its second conference in Warsaw, where participants further discussed their plans for regime change in Russia.
Members of the Congress have told the Express that regime change in Russia will require the use of force and that they are actively building their own militia to help them kick Putin and his acolytes out of Ukraine.
Known as the Freedom of Russia Legion, the militia is presently fighting against Putin’s army in Ukraine.
Ilya Ponomarev said: “We have what is called the Freedom of Russia Legion, which is part of the Ukraine military.
“It currently consists of two battalions of Russians who are fighting on the front lines and on the most difficult part of the front – they are currently in Bakhmut – and resisting Wagner out there.
“So they receive military experience and they are very well armed.
“And we need them to grow – obviously two battalions is not enough but they are growing.” He added that up to 10,000 Russians wanted to join the Legion and defeat Putin.