Putin’s oligarch pal warns ‘Russia will be broke by 2024 and must stop dreaming’

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    A billionaire Russian oligarch has warned that the country’s economy could completely collapse in the coming year due to Western sanctions.

    Russia could “run out of money” as it struggles to replace western investors, energy and metals tycoon Oleg Deripaska said on Thursday at the Krasnoyarsk Economic Forum in Siberia.

    Deripaska, 55, hinted that he – and others in Russia's ruling class – had grown increasingly impatient with Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, saying the Russian leadership should “stop dreaming about some special place for Russia in the world and go about its own business”.

    READ MORE: Wagner Group head promises recruits will be 'in good shape for the upcoming WW3'

    He added that there was little chance of “de-escalation” in the Ukraine war this side of 2025.

    With the war – and Western sanctions – continuing, “the money will run out next year,” he said. Russia’s only chance would be to somehow replace its former trade with the West, pivoting towards closer financial ties with “friendly” countries to the east.

    Deripaska’s comments hint at a growing dissatisfaction with Putin among the Russian élite.

    Complaining about the growing financial burden on Russian business as Putin tried to find new ways to pay for the increasingly costly war, Deripaska said: “We need more freedom and competition.”

    • Russian state TV says US has declared war after 'crossing unimaginable red line'

    Figures for January show that Russia has recorded its biggest budget deficit since Putin came to power in 2000.

    US president Joe Biden says that Russia’s economy is an “isolated backwater,” but Putin insists that it remains “resilient”.

    Russian figures say its economy shrank by 2.1% in 2022, while the World Bank puts the drop at over 11%, with over a thousand Western companies pulling out of Russia over Putin’s attack on Ukraine.

    Growing dissatisfaction among Russia’s power-brokers has encouraged Putin’s opponents to speak out publicly about the risk of a bloody civil war in the country.

    • Putin 'plans to kill Wagner Group boss who plotted to overthrow him', claim insiders

    Anti-Putin activist Andrey Sidelnikov said last week: "I am not going to deceive anyone. A transfer of power in Russia cannot be achieved peacefully in any circumstances.

    “[Putin] has brought the country to the brink of disintegration and civil war.

    "And if it is true that today we don't yet have the ability to forcibly change the leadership, then preparations towards that end have already started."


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    • Top Putin henchman directly threatens UK with nuclear war if Russia loses in Ukraine
    • Eerie cemetery where Russia buries murderers and rapists who die fighting in war
    • 'Russia's Rambo' put on Putin's hit list after pledging support for 'Ukraine side'
    • Vladimir Putin
    • Money
    • Russia
    • Russia Ukraine war
    • Ukraine

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