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Exiled Russian oligarch says Putin no longer just wants to annex Ukraine, he’s trying to ‘destroy’ it

An exiled Russian oligarch says Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war tactics in Ukraine mirror those of Adolf Hitler during World War II.Alexander Demyanchuk/AP

  • An exiled Russian oligarch says Putin’s focus has shifted from annexation to destroying Ukraine.

  • “It destroys Russian-speaking cities, it destroys human beings,” said Leonid Nevzlin.

  • “It’s his way of taking revenge – against Ukraine and against Zelenskyy,” Nevzlin added.

An exiled Russian oligarch has said he believes Russian leader Vladimir Putin has gone beyond trying to annex Ukraine and now wants to “destroy” the country.

Leonid Nevzlin, a former oil tycoon who was forced to flee Russia two decades ago, weighed in this week on what he thinks Putin intends to do next.

Nevzlin said in an interview published by The Times of Israel on Saturday that Putin likely first sought to annex Ukraine, Moldova and Belarus, but speculated that “everything has changed.”

“Putin is trying to destroy Ukraine. We understand that from this unbearable violence and the horrible nature of this war,” Nevzlin said, according to the outlet.

“He is destroying Russian-speaking cities, he is destroying human beings. This is his way of taking revenge – against Ukraine and against Zelenskyy,” Nevzlin told The Times, referring to Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

According to the outlet, Nevzlin also postulated that Putin’s war tactics reflect how Adolf Hitler fought in World War II.

Watch: Former CIA officer says Putin could be at risk of being killed by those around him

“Have you seen the field in the Donbass which was strewn with bombs and explosives? This is his vision of Ukraine,” Nevzlin told The Times, referring to the deadly waste of unexploded bombs and mines that remain embedded in the combat zones.

According to the outlet, he added that the war, which began on February 24, “will probably last a long time”.

Nevzlin is part of a vocal group of Russian elites who broke with Putin in protest against the war in Ukraine.

In March, he called Putin a “psychopath”. In this weekend’s interview, Nevzlin said the Russian president was “not a head of state but a mafia boss with a vengeful and cowardly personality.”

Other oligarchs have also attacked Putin in recent months.

In June, Mikhail Khodorkovsky – a Russian oligarch who was once Russia’s richest man – told the Financial Times he believed Putin was on a path in Ukraine that would “eventually” lead to a change of regime in Russia.

“If there hadn’t been so many victims, I would have said that I’m actually quite happy because he’s started down a path that will lead to his demise,” Khodorkovsky said, according to the point of sale.

Read the original article on Business Insider


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