Putins always been evil – now hes lost his mind warns Brit diplomat

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A British diplomat who worked in Russia says Vladimir Putin has "always been evil" but believes the leader has lost "all rationale" after he declared war with Ukraine.

Paul Knott, who has worked in both Moscow and Kyiv, says the leader has put Russia on a dangerous path that could only end safely if he is tried for war crimes.

The diplomat from Hull made the remarks after Putin launched a full-scale invasion in Ukraine on Thursday (February 24), which has caused hundreds of casualties between civilians and soldiers.

Paul, who specialises in foreign relations, believes Russia's move to being a "pariah state" means the invasion will not be a war that Putin can win long-term, despite them being "much better equipped" than Ukraine.

But he went on to say that the UK also has to take some responsibility in allowing Russia to get away with crimes, reports Hull Live.

"Watching Putin's bonkers speech on Russian TV, he actually does look like someone who's lost his mind a little bit," he said.

"He's always been evil, but previously there was a sense that he was rational as well. That's been more and more in doubt over recent weeks.

"I think it's a trajectory that you can look at with a lot of long-standing dictators where they get steadily more closed off and surrounded by a small number of people who are looking to get what they can out of it.

"During Covid, Putin has by all accounts essentially been locked in a bunker for two years."

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Paul described the invasion as a move that left Russia "a total pariah" that was now "cut off from everyone" with a few exceptions, a move which would "ultimately hurt the people of Russia".

While saying the UK's sanctions on Russia were a step in the right direction, Paul added that previous "passiveness" to nefarious Russian dealings meant we shared culpability.

"The UK clearly has some responsibility," he said.

"Britain's been way too weak on allowing stolen Russian money to be stashed in London and that damages your own society. The only sort of silver lining there really is that that gives us a fairly hefty lever to pull.

"If we want to help in any way in stopping a brutal dictator starting to make its way across Europe and attack freedom and democracy, it's by looking at money and property which could and should now be frozen.

"That will hurt people who benefit from Putin's regime who are close to him as much as possible.

"We've been far too complicit in allowing that."

Kyiv was hit by more explosions early on Friday morning following Thursday's invasion, with Russian troops moving to the outskirts of the capital city.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky vowed that his military will keep fighting back and he ordered a full mobilisation. He said 137 people – servicemen and civilians – had been killed and hundreds more wounded in the first day of fighting alone.

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  • Russia Ukraine war
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  • Military
  • London

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