Vladimir Putin was referred to as a "dead man walking" and cautioned to be "very careful" during his upcoming visit to China, according to reports.
The Russian leader announced he would visit the Asian country in October and now sources close to the Russian leader said he should be “very careful” after the recent death of Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin.
Wagner holds Putin accountable for the fatal plane crash that claimed Prigozhin's life on August 23 and they will likely pursue retaliation for the alleged killing of their leader, according to Professor Anthony Glees.
Glees told Daily Star, "Putin the ex-KGB Officer is playing poker, as he always does, pretending his hand is far stronger than it actually is, that every defeat was in fact all part of a carefully worked-out plan.”
He added, “It does not exist. He’s a dead man walking.”
Glees further contended Putin's grave mistake was not admitting responsibility for Prigozhin's death, as this portrayed the Russian leader as appearing "frightened" and "weak."
He told Daily Star, "In other words, Putin was too frightened and too weak to claim the credit for the killing whilst cynically hinting that it was bound to happen.”
Now, Putin plans on visiting China in the fall in an alleged attempt to make the “world see him as supremely powerful.”
"What Putin wants now, just a few days after arranging for Prigozhin to meet his maker on 23 August, is for the world and especially NATO to see him as supremely powerful, calm, and in full control of events,” Glees noted. "Going to China would send a signal that all was well for him in Russia."
However, Glees said he thinks Putin will still “worry” about leaving Moscow vulnerable during his trip to China and the possibility he could be assassinated during the visit.
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"Putin will of course worry, desperately, about two things if he does go: first, that in his absence in Beijing, an opposing member of the Russian mafia will simply move into the Kremlin,” the professor said.
He continued, "Second, that his presidential jet could be shot down over the steppes of eastern Russia by Wagner group members who may have access to a Buk missile system amongst their arsenal.”
The Russian leader's last visit to China was in February 2022, less than three weeks before he launched his invasion of Ukraine.
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