Hes paranoid Putin invaded Ukraine as hes getting older and knew time was running out

Russia: Expert says Putin’s plan ‘pretty awful’

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Since the invasion of Ukraine began on February 24, the United Nations has confirmed the deaths of more than 400 Ukrainian civilians in the onslaught, while up to 12,000 Russian soldiers have allegedly been killed.

Alexander Rodynasky, an advisor to the Ukrainian President, said Putin is “paranoid” about Russia being attacked.

He said: “He believes Russia is surrounded by enemies, that the US is on a mission to destroy Russia, and that he is the only force that can stop that.

“An extreme KGB mentality came to dominate him over the years.

“He knew that time was running out: he was not getting younger while Ukraine was making headways economically and in terms of its European integration.”

Speaking to The Sun, Mr Rodynasky said Putin was aware of the risk Ukraine could join NATO.

He told the outlet: “Putin understood that the time to act was now, or otherwise Ukraine would become too integrated with the West, and its army potentially too strong to deal with.

“He also believed that the Ukrainian populace was still sympathetic to his ideals and that a significant fraction of the population in Ukraine would welcome his troops as liberators after a series of economically tumultuous years.

“As we can now see, he was wrong on all counts. But that does not make the tragedy less for our people.”

Reports claimed Putin fired his top generals after failed intelligence and poor strategy saw his troops handed a series of embarrassing defeats in the opening days of the war in Ukraine.

Oleksiy Danilov, head of Ukraine’s security council, said “around eight” Russian commanders have been fired since the start of the conflict as Moscow scrambles to change strategy after its attempted “shock and awe” blitz failed.

Philip Ingram, a security expert and former senior British intelligence officer, told The Times that Putin is “very angry” and is blaming his intelligence agencies for the failure to topple Ukraine.

He told the outlet: “He blames them for seeding him the advice that led to the poor decision-making in Ukraine.”

It comes after Putin said Russia must welcome foreign fighters in its war against Ukraine, as his defence minister said 16,000 volunteers in the Middle East had signed up to fight.

At a meeting of Russia’s Security Council, Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said the thousands of volunteers in the Middle East had already signed up to join the Russian invasion force.

He added the volunteers will be swiftly deployed into combat with Russian-backed forces in the breakaway Donbas region of eastern Ukraine.

Putin then said: “If you see that there are these people who want of their own accord, not for money, to come to help the people living in Donbas, then we need to give them what they want and help them get to the conflict zone.”

Putin has also been accused of “genocide” after attacks on a maternity ward and children’s hospital in Mariupol on Wednesday.

Mr Zelensky condemned the attack on the hospital, a combined 600-bed complex, as evidence of “genocide”.

He said on Wednesday: “A children’s hospital, a maternity ward. How did they threaten the Russian Federation?

“What is this country, the Russian Federation, that is afraid of hospitals, maternity wards and is destroying them.”

The Ukrainian President then added on Thursday: “We have found if you want to find out Russia’s plans, you should look at what Russia is accusing others of.

“We’re the ones being blamed, as if we’ve attacked a peaceful Russia. And what now? What does it mean, that we’re being accused of preparing chemical attacks?

“Have you decided to conduct a dechemicalisation of Ukraine? With what? With ammonia? With phosphorus?

“What else have you prepared for us? What do you plan to hit with chemical weapons? A maternity hospital in Mariupol? A church in Kharkiv? A children’s hospital?’”

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