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Vladimir Putin's 'number one enemy' says the 'psychopathic' dictator 'can't afford' to lose the war in Ukraine.
Bill Browder made his wealth in the mid 1990s, exposing corruption in some of the Russia's biggest firms like Gazprom, and making millions in the process.
At the time, both he and Putin were keen to rid the country of its band of super wealthy oligarchs.
But eventually their interests diverged, and in 2005 Browder was declared a threat to national security and kicked out of Russia. Police later raided his offices and took documents that saw $230 million in taxes disappear overnight.
His lawyer, Sergei Magnitsky, who exposed the fraud, was also arrested and severely beaten, dying in prison in 2009.
And Browder has been on the Putin's hit list ever since.
Speaking to LADbible, the financier, who is now a British citizen, said the dictator's greed and need for absolute power is so ingrained in his DNA that he simply cannot lose the war in Ukraine.
He says: "I think that Putin can't afford a defeat.
"He's ready to do anything. He has no morals, no empathy, no respect for human life. He just doesn't care; what he cares about is his own survival.
"And right now, he is at risk of not surviving, because if he loses this war, he'll be taken out by the Russian people, they'll hang him from a tank like the Romanians hung Ceausescu, their dictator, at the end of the Soviet era."
But a victory, he says, will be hard to come by, having underestimated the Ukrainian military and the country's president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
According to Ukrainian officials, since Russia declared war in February this year, it has lost almost 20,000 troops while also failing to take Kyiv.
Browder goes on: "The war has been a disaster for Putin; he completely misjudged how successfully the Ukrainians were going to fight and also how the West was going to support Ukraine.
"The Ukrainians are not going to allow him to take territory.
"And so I think this is going to carry on like the Iran-Iraq and go on for another 10 years. And around one million people died in that war, so I don't see why this would be any different."
However, Browder warns that with Putin so desperate, he could order a 'catastrophic' attack to force a surrender.
"He's a real psychopath. He has no capacity to care about anybody other than himself. And he's ready to do anything to protect himself," he says.
"He could set off a nuclear bomb in in Ukraine and kill half a million people.
"So what happens when he sets off a nuclear bomb and then says, 'I'm going to do another one next week? Do you guys want to lose another half a million people?' And then everyone says, 'Oh, s**t, you know, maybe we should surrender'.
"I mean, he has the ultimate trump card in this story."
Putin has spent the last 12 years trying to 'get' Browder, with Russia issuing eight arrest warrants for him through Interpol and several people close to him having died in suspicious circumstances over the years.
In 2018, former US president Donald Trump even considered giving him up to the Kremlin in exchange for access to a dozen Russian officers.
And while he thinks the war in Ukraine may have seen him 'drop to number three' on Putin's enemy list – behind Zelenskyy and imprisoned political opponent Alexei Navalny – Browder says Putin still wants him dead.
"There's no question," he says. "When former president Dmitry Medvedev, was Prime Minister of Russia, he was questioned about Magnitsky by a group of journalists, and he said, 'It's too bad that Magnitsky is dead and Bill Browder is still alive and running around'.
"And the the General Prosecutor of Russia in 2018, publicly said, 'Bill Browder shouldn't sleep peacefully at night'."
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