Andrei Kurkov, 61, is traveling to promote his latest book, Diary of an Invasion. He is one of the most famous poets and writers of Ukraine, well aware of what must be in place for peace to reign in Ukraine.
– Then there is only one solution for how to stop this war, then Putin must die, Krukov tells Dagbladet.
He has no confidence that it is possible to negotiate a peace agreement with the current president of Russia.
Putin is a liar
Vladimir Putin is a liar. He declared a lie and lied to the whole world two days before the start of the war. Then he said that Russia did not intend to wage war. How can you negotiate with such a man, says Krukov, it is not possible.
In the book he writes about the chaos in the days leading up to the outbreak of the war and the days following. He and his wife chose to flee from Kyiv to Lviv after the end of the war, after which they drove by car to their country house located at the foot of the Carpathian mountain range. Where he sat and wrote his memoirs.
Seven million refugees
He was not alone in escaping. More than seven million Ukrainians have left the country, and Kurkov fears what this could do to the country in the long run.
Half a million children and young people were sent abroad to go to school. The longer they stay in another country, the less likely they are to return. Thus, the population of Ukraine is getting older, and this will affect the economy, and there will be problems with filling universities, says Kurkov.
He himself was in Ukraine for a while after the book was released, and he doesn’t think he’ll be back until December.
After sending the book to the publisher at the beginning of June, the Ukrainian army was able to defeat the Russian forces and take back several cities.
Few must win
In just a few weeks in September, Ukraine regained, according to themselves, almost 9,000 square kilometers of what until then had been under the control of Russia. A sudden lightning attack in Kharkiv Oblast caused great losses to the Russians, according to British intelligence.
– What do you think will happen next in the war?
– I think it will only stop when Putin dies. When that happens, there are four groups that will fight for power in the Kremlin. There are military generals, FSB generals, GRU generals, and oligarchs, says Krukov.
And only if the oligarchy wins, will the war stop, and there will be some form of peace.
– They are the only ones who have suffered during this war. They need access to seized accounts, confiscated property, and their yachts. Therefore, I believe that only the oligarchy can end the war.
He indicates other groups, military generals and those who work in intelligence, they have everything they need in Russia. They do not depend on the West, and therefore they do not depend on ending the war.
How realistic do you think it could end up like this?
In theory, I think it’s a possibility. The oligarchy has the money and resources to build their own army and create their own Secret Service. But there are more of those few falling out of tall windows these days. Now a special operation to remove the oligarchy is unfolding before the next power struggle in Russia. Andrei Kurkov says that someone is cleaning the system.
Geir Hagen Carlsen, presenter at the Staff College, believes several factors come into play.
The four are important representatives of power, but it must be remembered that they are not necessarily unified groupings. There are many conflicts internally and there are also points of intersection between the different groupings. The oligarchy does not appear to be in any way a unifying grouping, says Geir Hagen Carlsen.
He has followed the Russian invasion of Ukraine closely since it began on February 24 of this year, and believes that although the oligarchs have a lot to gain from opening their confiscated assets and accounts, it is a little more complicated than that.
strength and resources
– It must be remembered that those in the apparatus of power today also have great money. Moreover, it is about controlling power and access to resources, says Carlsen.
The lieutenant colonel believed that Putin played a game to avoid a strong opponent or rival.
– He sits at the head of a regime that had a long time to plan, and is well prepared for any coup attempts or if someone challenged him politically. None of his potential opponents will be able to show any of their cards, in which case that would be the last thing they would do, says Carlsen.
He asserts that if Putin has to relinquish power as a result of his deteriorating health, or if he wants to relinquish power in a particular situation, this is just a guess.
– It’s hard to predict what will happen. Moreover, it is not certain that a new regime will be better than Putin, and we do not know what or who will take power in the Kremlin, he says.
Since the war began, he warned that the war could drag on. It could develop into something worse than it is at the moment, and he believes the conflict will obviously continue as long as Putin is alive.
– The more I think about it, the more I think the war will be prolonged. It is likely to last for several years. Even if there was a ceasefire, I don’t think anyone would trust it, Geir Hagen Carlsen tells Dagbladet.
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