Putin driven ‘insane’ after Ukrainians failed to welcome invasion with flowers

As the war in Ukraine rumbles into its second month, an exiled oligarch has claimed that Vladimir Putin went “literally insane” at the Ukrainian people’s response to his invasion, when they met Russian troops with fierce resistance in their cities.

Since the conflict began on February 24, regions across the country have faced heavy bombing campaigns, with men aged 18-60 conscripted to fight off their invaders.

This fierce resistance has so far prevented Russian troops from taking – or even entering – the capital Kyiv, prompting Russia to announce that it will be “radically reducing” its assault on the city.

Now, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, an oligarch who was sentenced to nine years in prison by the Kremlin regime, has claimed that Putin has been left shocked by the courage of the Ukrainians.

The oligarch began by observing that the situation had become “very complicated” for Putin after his ambitions for a simple invasion of Ukraine had quickly faded.

“At first what he wanted was to change the power in Kyiv, put in his puppet, and was expecting that this would be met with flowers thrown in the streets by his people,” Mikhail explained, speaking to CNN.

“When this did not happen, he went crazy. The fact that people in Kharkiv did not meet him with flowers did not just anger him, I really think it drove him literally insane. That’s why he started bombing Kharkiv and Kyiv.”

Reports have recently begun to filter through of the devastated landscapes left in regions where Russian troops have withdrawn.

In the town of Bucha, near the capital Kyiv, Ukrainian officials claim to have found a mass grave containing 57 bodies of civilians butchered during the Russian invasion.

And, with US President Joe Biden labelling Putin a “war criminal”, Mikhail told CNN that the Russian leader now finds himself in a difficult position after his troops have stalled.

“Right now he has three ways out,” he suggested.

“The first way out is to continue pressuring Ukraine, and probably losing troops in this process because the Ukrainians are fighting back ever more strongly every day.

“Secondly he could use weapons of mass destruction in the hope that this would force the Ukrainians to retreat.”

Finally, Mikhail noted, Putin could decide to enter into “actual negotiations” with Ukraine and NATO.

And, with fears that an escalation of the conflict could lead to the Russian President resorting to nuclear weapons, the exiled oligarch claimed that a stern warning that NATO would respond with force could finally force Putin to negotiate.

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