We’ve reached Peak Putin and he’s sure to fall – but with China bailing him out he will be the new Kim Jong Un


WITH Russian troops in Kyiv, it looks increasingly that Putin’s military will overrun Ukraine’s brave, out-gunned forces.

But the Russian leader’s moment of great triumph is likely to be the beginning of his collapse.

This is the beginning of the end for Russian president Vladimir Putin

I am convinced we have now reached peak Putin.

From here on he is finished, no matter how much China supports him.

Whether that collapse will be quick or long we don’t yet know. But from now on the only way is downhill, because Putin has damaged Russia so much in the world’s eyes.

The man is not a lunatic but he is a different Putin to the one of five years ago.

Then, we didn’t like him but we understood him. Now we still don’t like him but we don’t understand him either.

Russia feels safest surrounded by weak or broken states that are dependent on Moscow.

It doesn’t like being neighbours with prosperous, well-functioning countries.

Putin is enraged that Ukraine is westward-leaning and, although it will not be allowed into Nato for a long time, it is a partner of the military alliance.

Putin will end up isolated like North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un

With his 1930s-style aggression, Putin wants to create a Novo-Russiya — New Russia.

In his mind, eastern Ukraine might even return to Russia like in Donbas and Crimea.

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He would hold “referendums” on merging with Russia, “votes” that would be “won” by an “overwhelming” majority.

He would install a puppet regime in the rest of the country, west of the Dnieper River, a Ukrainian version of Belarus.

I don’t think it is remotely realistic. Putin, who now truly believes his own propaganda, has committed a massive strategic blunder.

Nato will go to war if Russians set on foot in the Baltic States, now full Nato members.

Sanctions won’t deter him but they will certainly hurt Russia.

They may last for ten years or more and the West is united as never before against Russia.

China is nervous that Putin will be more dependent on it than ever and fears Russia becoming another North Korea.

Putin may be the new Kim Jong Un — another bloody nuisance that Beijing has to support.

Smoke billows from a suspected Russian airstrike on a Ukrainian defence base

A police officer in Ukraine inspects the aftermath of a Russian airstrike

Ukrainians queue up to leave Kiev as they try to flee the country

Rescuers attend the wreckage of a shot down Ukrainian aircraft

Professor Michael Clarke says Putin will fall