MBK For The ‘Sky News’ Programme ‘Trevor Phillips on Sunday’: Putin Is ‘In Fact Afraid’ Of A War

February 8, 2022

Speaking to Sir Trevor Phillips, Anchor for the Sky News programme Trevor Phillips on Sunday, Mikhail Khodorkovsky was asked whether putting more pressure on the assets of allies of Russian President Vladimir Putin in the UK would deter Moscow from launching an invasion in Ukraine.

He replied: “Putin’s clique use money in order to illegally put pressure on the British political system. And this is happening – directly, indirectly, via legal firms, via lobbying businesses, via directly influencing politicians and so on and so forth – and it must be stopped.

In his highly informative summation of Putin’s ongoing calculations Khodorkovsky reminded that actions on assets of Putin’s cronies are not as important as arming and training the Ukrainian forces.

Asked about the situation with the opposition, he said: “At present the opposition in Russia has been reduced to a bare minimum – by way of arrests, pressure on their families etc. But it also means that opposition sentiments have gone deeper underground. This means that Putin doesn’t really know what society’s reaction is going to be to this or that action. It is one of the reasons why he is in fact afraid of starting a war with Ukraine. He is not confident that Russian society would support such a war – and I’m sure that Russian people will not support it. But he doesn’t even know how strong the backlash would be. And that backlash could be very powerful.”

Khodorkovsky warned that if in the past Putin might have been a man who would listen to others, or exercise some caution, “this has changed”. He added: “He is convinced of his own infallibility, and he is capable of all sorts of actions, including ill-judged ones,” but perhaps surprisingly, also says he believes he is “in fact afraid” of a war.

Read more: Mikhail Khodorkovsky claims Vladimir Putin is ‘afraid of starting a war with Ukraine’

Watch the interview: