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Putin Says West Prepared To Scapegoat Zelensky For War Failures: 'Replaced By Next Year'

• https://www.zerohedge.com, by Tyler Durden

On his last day in the country he made some wide-ranging remarks to the press, and among the most interesting was a statement on the future of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. 

Putin predicted at a moment things are going very badly for Ukrainian forces, and at a rare time Western media seems to be turning on Zelensky, that the Ukrainian leader will soon be replaced over his poor and unpopular decision-making. Putin suggested Washington is essentially going to make him a scapegoat. 

"In the West, they simply do not want to replace him [Zelenskyy], the time is not right. I think it's obvious to anyone. They will blame all unpopular decisions on him, including lowering the [military] draft age, and that's it," Putin asserted, according to Russian media translation.

That's when he followed with: "And then they'll replace him. I think it will happen sometime in the first half of next year."

Putin could be at least in part seizing on the obvious increased negative coverage of the Zelensky government in major Western media outlets, from the BBC to NY Times to Wall Street Journal. Indeed Zelensky's 'celebrity power' on display throughout the first part of the war, where it seemed he could simply do no wrong in the media's eyes, is waning fast.

More importantly, there are signs of large-scale dissent among the Ukrainian population as recruitment officers violently grab men from off the streets.

Despite Kiev forces clearly being against the ropes of late, Zelensky has still refused to even contemplate negotiating. He has stood by his earlier commitment to not enter dialogue toward ceasefire until Putin is out of power. Putin commented on this while in Vietnam:

Talks on Ukraine could take place as early as tomorrow, but Russia will use the current situation as a starting point, the president added.

"We have been conducting these behind-the-scenes talks, and what we hoped for has failed," Putin told reporters.


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