Russian experts increasingly doubtful Vladimir Putin can still win the war in Ukraine
Russian oligarchs are increasingly distrustful of Russian President Vladimir Putin's ability to win the war in Ukraine, reports Digi24.ro. Their only hope at the moment is that the situation on the front will become a frozen conflict or a defeat from which Russia will not emerge humiliated.
Despite the pessimism spreading among Russia's oligarchs, Putin shows no signs of wanting to end hostilities in Ukraine, according to a Bloomberg report, which notes that many in the political and economic elite are fed up with the war and want the fighting to end as soon as possible.
Five sources cited by Bloomberg say no one dares to oppose Putin over the invasion of Ukraine, but confidence in the Russian president's authority has been shaken.
It's unclear what a victory for Russia might look like at this point, but two of Bloomberg's sources said they hope Putin will try to claim a "victory à la Pyrus" based on the territories in Ukraine that the Russians already occupy.
Alexandra Prokopenko, a former Russian journalist and banking adviser, said "the best I can hope for is that Russia loses without being humiliated."
Many top Russian businessmen and economists were targeted by Western sanctions after Putin launched the invasion. But according to an April survey by The Wilson Center, Russia's elite show no sign of considering standing up to Putin, despite the high cost they have paid for their loyalty to the Russian president.
Experts told Insider that Putin's authority will be severely tested if Russia loses the war and Russian troops are forced to leave Ukrainian territory.
Yevgeny Prigozhin, for his part, said he is certain that the Russian army is set to suffer massive battlefield losses and that the Russian Federation will lose not only the territories it has occupied in Ukraine, but also parts of the country's interior.
For the army's failures, Russian generals will face the firing squad, according to mercenary chief Wagner. Russia initially expected a quick victory in Ukraine, but the war has entered a protracted stalemate that has caused huge costs to the Russian military and economy.