Russia’s wealthy elite stand to lose their fortunes as the Kremlin is devastated by a coup as President Putin’s invasion of Ukraine crumbles. Professor Michael Clarke predicted that Russia’s ‘mafia state’ would succumb to a coup as Putin’s ‘reign of terror’ began to crumble. The defense and security analyst suggested that Russian military strategy had largely failed to deliver the territorial gains promised at the start of the invasion of Ukraine, leading the Russian population to increasingly lose faith in the direction of the Kremlin. Speaking on Sky News, Prof Clarke said: ‘We are waiting for some kind of coup to happen, you can’t guarantee if it will be three months, three years or five years from now.

The defense analyst suggested that President Putin was forced to persist in invading Ukraine despite Russian military failures, with the Kremlin’s authority tied to victory in the war.

Professor Clarke continued: “He has nowhere to go, Russia has nowhere to go under his leadership.

“This war will get worse for Russia even if he succeeds in Donbass and even if he manages to take Odessa, which I don’t think he will succeed.

“People around him are starting to lose very heavily and despite depending on him for their kleptocracy.”

Professor Clarke suggested that Putin would begin to face dwindling support among Russia’s elite as the oligarchs began to fear losing their wealth.

He added: “Russia is a mafia state and again, this is not my expression, this is the expression of most good analysts, it has become a mafia state.

“So the only way for the people around him to preserve their privileges and wealth, ultimately, is to take him away.”

The defense analyst described Putin’s Russia as a “mafia state”, meaning that Kremlin officials, police and military authorities in the country are highly corrupt and involved in serious organized crime.

Read more: WATCH Ukrainian forces destroy military unit of Russian occupiers

Professor Clarke drew comparisons between President Putin and Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin.

Towards the end of his term, there were numerous rumors of a serious decline in Stalin’s health, speculation which is now reflected in the health issues surrounding President Putin.

Other military analysts have claimed that President Putin rushed the invasion of Ukraine in order to distract from his evident declining health and protect his appearance as a strong leader.

The Russian president initially promised a quick “special military operation” that would seize Ukrainian territory, although as the war in Ukraine drags on into the fourth month of conflict, Putin’s army would struggle to maintain the artillery supplies to feed the offensive front.