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Vladimir Putin

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A new analysis is explaining how this time period may suggest the end is near for Russian President Vladamir Putin.

According to Newsweek's William M. Arkin, the authoritarian president may be running out of options as he fights to maintain his grasp on the country.

To support his arguments, Arkin included assessments from army and intelligence officials familiar with all of the events transpiring in Russia.

"Putin's options for the future are bleak, particularly as he increasingly feels the heat of domestic opposition," the first intelligence official said. Per Arkin, the official also noted "the impact of 60,000-plus Russian casualties and as well as the bite of sanctions and the controls on travel as challenges to Putin."

Another official also weighed in with what they are witnessing.

"We're seeing more and more blaming of Western weapons," says the second official, "as if it is an excuse for why Russia is losing. It's ironic, given that Putin-and-company normally argues that it can defeat NATO. Now it's, 'we couldn't have won because of Western intervention' that is seeking to deflect responsibility from Moscow."

So, how is Putin maintaining? Former World Champion chess player Garry Kasparov recently weighed in with an assessment of Putin's leadership and how he may be holding his position.

Speaking to the Kyiv Post, Kasparov said, "Putin has never dealt with situations like this one." He also noted that Putin has "been lucky that he has always been able to escape.

"Continuing the war is the only way for Putin to stay in power," Kasparov said in the interview. "

He wants to create extra chaos in the free world hoping that a new window will open for him. It's really just a protracted agony. It is cynical and stupid, but Putin is willing to put thousands of civilians into graves in the months to come before the whole of Ukraine is liberated, if that will allow him to maintain power."

An army officer also shared his prediction of what's to come as he also pondered the limited long-term options Putin has.

"I'm not so sure I agree with the 'long war' predictions," the Army officer said as he suggested that Putin is running out of options for a viable conversion. "Everyone's talking about Putin's hold over Europe with his control of gas, that this is his ace in the hole. But if the heat intensifies back home, Putin may have to shift his attention to a winter disaster of his own making."

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

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