James O'Brien 10am - 1pm
Ex-Russian PM: Ukraine invasion 'beginning of the end' for Putin
26 March 2022, 13:43
The first Russian Prime Minister under President Putin tells LBC he has at most two years left at the helm before he is ousted.
Mikhail Kasyanov served as Prime Minister of Russia between 2000 and 2004. He was Deputy Prime Minister while Mr Putin was in the office and was the first Prime Minister under President Putin's reign.
Mr Kasyanov joined Matt Frei for an LBC exclusive interview amid suggestions that the Russian President is contemplating a retreat to focus on separatist regions of Ukraine.
"Let Mr Putin be afraid," he told Matt whilst making the case for NATO to impose a no-fly zone over Ukraine.
"If such a measure as a no-fly zone was established, he would be shocked."
Mr Kasyanov argued that Putin has already been knocked for six by the West's response to the war thus far: "He thought it would be just like the annexation of Crimea," he told LBC listeners.
He reiterated that "this is something shocking Mr Putin" and he will be "more and more angry" that his operations haven't been conducted as he would like.
Matt wondered whether President Putin would face the wrath of the Russian people because of the brutal invasion of Ukraine.
"Not in a short period of time, but in the long run yes," he insisted. "They will see actual reasons and actual sources of problems they have."
Mr Kasyanov made the case that the invasion is a tragedy for the Russian people: "It will be decades of paying out for what Mr Putin has done for the country."
He concluded by telling listeners that so long as Ukraine continues to "stand up and continues to defend itself and win this war, it means it is already the beginning of Putin's era end," predicting President Putin will have "maximum two years" in the Kremlin.