- Russia’s political system is “in shock” after Moscow’s recent defeats in Ukraine, a former aide to Vladimir Putin has said.
- “It’s no exaggeration,” Abbas Gallyamov, a political consultant and former Putin speechwriter, told CNN.
- Gallyamov said Putin’s “image” has now been “tarnished” by battlefield casualties.
Russia’s entire political system is in “shock” after the Kremlin’s recent disastrous defeats in Vladimir Putin’s war on Ukraine, the Russian president’s former speechwriter has said.
“The Russian political system is currently in shock – it’s no exaggeration,” said Abbas Gallyamov, political consultant and former Putin speechwriter. told CNN in an interview published Wednesday.
Gallyamov said Putin’s regime had long viewed Ukraine as “inferior” and “they could never imagine that the Ukrainians would advance and the Russians – Russian troops, invincible troops as they saw them – would have to retreat and not just to retreat, but to actually run away.”
“It’s a real shock,” Gallyamov told CNN.
The former speechwriter said that “little by little Russian public opinion has become familiar with the idea that, okay, Ukrainians are not so bad after all – they can defend themselves, they can to be on the defensive”.
“But no one could expect them to move forward so quickly, so professionally, and push the Russians back,” he said.
In recent days, Ukrainian forces have reclaimed territory from Russian occupation in an equally stunning and lightning-fast counteroffensive during the war that lasted almost seven months.
They took over large swaths of Russian-held territory in the Kharkiv region, Ukraine’s second-largest city.
And the fleeing Russian troops would have left behind an abundance of arms and ammunition.
Since the beginning of this month, Ukrainian forces have retaken more than thousands of square kilometers of territory from Russian occupation, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said.
“The whole system is in shock and what makes it worse is Putin’s absolutely inadequate reaction personally,” Gallyamov told CNN, adding that when Putin “is in shock himself” and ” does not know how to act”, the Russian leader “tries to show that nothing bad is happening”.
“Putin’s image is tarnished,” his former speechwriter said.
Gallyamov said he believed Russia’s elites would start looking for a successor to appoint in the coming months.
“I think the next thing that’s going to happen in Russian politics in the next few months, maybe up to six months, is that the elites are going to start looking for a successor, and so the political process will start around that number,” he told CNN.