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'Putin's brain' quotes chilling story about king being killed in threat at Russian despot after Kherson surrender
12 November 2022, 10:01
An ultra-nationalist writer known as "Putin's brain" has quoted a story about a king being killed in what is believed to have been a threat at the Russian leader.
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Alexander Dugin briefly posted the apparent threat on the Telegram social media app before it was taken down.
He was furious at the loss of Kherson, the only provincial capital Russia managed to take in the invasion – and added his voice to raging Russian nationalists who are angry at defeats in the invasion and have called for escalation.
Dugin, whose daughter was killed in a car bombing in Moscow earlier this year, posted a quote from Sir James Frazer's The Golden Bough, in which a king is killed because he could not bring about rain in a drought.
"We give the ruler absolute fullness of power, and he saves us all, the people, the state, people, citizens, at a critical moment," Dugin said.
"If for this he surrounds himself with s*** or spits on social justice, this is unpleasant, but if only he saves. Then - the fate of the 'king of the rains'."
His moniker of Putin's brain comes from the belief that his works, which call for Russia to retake countries it has occupied in the past and reshape a world order, have influenced the Russian leader’s thinking.
Furious at the loss of Kherson, in the south of the country, which Russia has completely evacuated after occupying it since the start of the war, he said every Russian should be hurt by the reversal.
Putin has trapped himself between hard-liners who call for escalation and the consequences from the international community if he tried something drastic.
He is also struggling between the reality on the ground, with Ukraine's liberation of vast swathes of its territory, and the bellicose rhetoric Kremlin-backing media has broadcast to its people for months.
Footage shows cheering Ukrainians welcoming their liberators to Kherson, on the western bank of the Dnipro river that snakes through the country.
The Russians fled it under heavy bombardment as they escaped to the other bank in a bid to try and hold the rest of the occupied territories.
The area is seen as vital to Russia's bid to establish a land bridge to Crimea, which was seized in 2014.
It comes after a claim that Putin was offered surrender terms by the West.
The surrender would mean Russia gives up all of its territory in Ukraine except Crimea, a Russian policy expert said.
Crimea would become a demilitarised zone, with its status not discussed again until 2029.
Putin would avoid criminal charges over the war and be allowed to remain in power, Professor Valery Solovey, formerly at Moscow's Institute of International Relations, claimed.
He said the proposal had been discussed between Ukraine and its Western allies before being proposed to Putin's inner circle. The claim has not been verified.