Putin Was Incensed Russian Troops Weren't Welcomed With Flowers In Ukraine, Says Oligarch

He went "insane," said Mikhail Khodorkovsky, one-time CEO of Russian oil giant Yukos.

Russian President Vladimir Putin was so out of touch with reality when he launched the Ukraine invasion that he was incensed his troops weren’t welcomed with flowers, an exiled Russian oligarch revealed Sunday.

“At first he wanted to change the power in Kyiv ... and was expecting that this would be met with flowers thrown in the streets by Ukrainian people,” Mikhail Khodorkovsky, onetime CEO of Russian oil giant Yukos, said on CNN.

But when Ukrainians fought back as the invasion was launched, Putin went “insane,” said Khodorkovsky, an outspoken Putin critic who spent nine years in a Russian prison.

“The fact that the people in Kharkiv [also failed to] meet him with flowers, it not only just angered him, I really think it drove him literally insane. That’s when he started bombing Kharkiv and Kyiv,” Khodorkovsky said.

Former Russian Deputy Energy Minister Vladimir Milov told CNN on Saturday that the surprising war in Ukraine has “devastated” top officials in the Kremlin and that many “Russian elites” may lose faith in Putin. That’s risky for Putin, who could be forced from power in a matter of months, he warned.

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