Former Russian insider chimes in on the likelihood of a nuclear strike as Putin turns 70

Birthday celebrations in the past have featured lavish presents from international leaders, hockey matches with Russia’s elite, and outdoor excursions in the Siberian mountains. It is anticipated that there won’t be much of a celebration for this birthday—a it’s big one. The issue on many people’s minds as Russian President Vladimir Putin approaches 70 is not so much “how robust is his physically,” but rather “how safe is his job?”

The author of “The Russia Conundrum,” Mikhail Khodorkovsky, claims that there is a wave of sobering realization sweeping through Putin’s inner circle. He thinks that this group is held together by fear and the realization that everyone of these cronies is “tarred with corruption.” The ruling class is aware that they will probably lose their jobs, if not their lives, when Putin passes away, which he will do one day. Khodorkovsky noted that the conflict in Ukraine, which appears to be going poorly for Russia, has increased this anxiety.

According to Khodorkovsky, who speaks to Fox News, “if the Ukrainian armed forces continue to triumph, the threat to the lives of Putin’s entourage will become so significant that they may genuinely strive to decrease this threat by pushing Putin to leave.” “This can be a choice. Putin is aware of this and, in fact, he is terrified of it.” The possibility of an even bloodier battle, though, is something new for Putin’s supporters. And the knowledge that they might all lose if Putin carries out his threats.

“What Putin is doing at the moment, his threats to use nuclear weapons and his mad mobilization

This demonstrates to these people that Putin’s continued rule is a threat to their families as well as to them and their lives, which many of them have already acknowledged.”

Khodorkovsky, the former owner of the oil firm Yukos and the man previously regarded as the richest person in Russia, was sentenced to ten years in a Siberian prison in 2003 after he started speaking out against corruption. Early on in his presidency, Putin had made it plain that the oligarchs could keep their fortune if they remained silent.


Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting on the country's transport industry via a video link in Sochi, Russia May 24, 2022.

Khodorkovsky is currently living in exile in London where he is carrying out the work of his Open Russia foundation to effectively create opposition through the media and education while promoting a functional parliamentary system for Russia. On Puntin’s birthday, Khodorkovsky expressed his thoughts about the Russian leader.


“We refer to him as a mafia boss. This isn’t a plot to make him look bad in some way. You should consider that when dealing with him because it is a significant part of his self-identity “Says Khodorkovsky. “He has been in power for twenty-two years, has become older, and acts like an old bandit. When these elderly bandits reflect on their awful past, they don’t consider regret; instead, they consider their goal. What did their entire lives culminate in? Putin has also selected this mission. Perhaps not the Soviet Union, but perhaps to some extent the Russian Empire”

According to Khodorkovsky, Putin truly feels that when Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy pledged he would give some land to Russia, Putin felt humiliated when it did not happen.

“As far as we can tell, Putin’s entourage is a mafia environment, and their terror is the source of Putin’s power. Therefore, if his reputation suffers, that fear vanishes, endangering his authority. He was unable to pardon the Ukrainian populace “Says Khodorkovsky.


Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, meets with Chechen regional leader Ramzan Kadyrov in the Kremlin in Moscow. The leader of Chechnya says gay men do not exist in his republic and dismisses reports that 100 gay men have been rounded up, tortured and sometimes killed.

Khodorkovsky also thinks that Yevgeny Prigozhin, the notorious Wagner mercenary group’s head who has recently been seen visiting Russian jails to recruit assassins for the war effort, and Ramzan Kadyrov, the leader of the Chechen nation, are pushing Putin in this direction.

Since neither Russia nor the Russian people understand the West, nor does the West understand the Russian people, Khodorkovsky claims in his recently released book that “many of today’s issues, and most significantly, tomorrow’s difficulties, are attributable to this fact.”

After going from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows and spending a decade hanging out with criminals before establishing a life in the West, the opportunity to fully utilize the knowledge he has acquired may have passed. When asked about Putin’s next moves, Khodorkovsky stated that in his opinion, the Russian leader may have been misled by advisors into thinking that his military draft is succeeding and will alter the trajectory of the conflict. Khodorkovsky says that if Ukraine does not essentially prevail in the upcoming months, “Putin will begin to think seriously about nuclear weapons” in the coming year.