Vladimir Putin is coming under increasing pressure in Russia. Fierce disputes following the recent defeats in the Ukraine war are dividing the president’s power base. “Putin will probably be gone soon,” says historian Harold James. But that doesn’t have to mean only good things.

The British historian Harold James spoke in an interview with “t-online” about the future prospects of Russian President Vladimir Putin. James said: “Putin will probably be gone soon.” The political situation in Russia is “much more unstable than many in the West believe,” said James. And further: “It is quite possible that Russia will soon fall apart.”

James points out that Putin is currently being “massively criticized” by extreme nationalists for his hesitant conduct of the war. And sees Putin facing an unsolvable problem: “Even with the toughest of violence, he will never be able to please these people. If there is a coup, it will probably come from this side.” Or the military can take matters into their own hands.

Putin is a loser who still hasn’t gotten over the end of the Soviet Union, James told t-online. “One lesson Putin just doesn’t want to understand,” explains James: “Imperialism always fails. Sometimes it takes a long time, but they fail. Putin’s end has already begun.”

But what follows the despot? James is not very optimistic. The fact that Putin might be gone soon “doesn’t necessarily fuel hope,” he says. “Because an immediate democratic successor government is very unlikely. Putin’s successors – if they come from nationalist military and intelligence circles – might also be more open to the use of nuclear weapons.”