A former speechwriter for the Kremlin said on Wednesday that many in Russia are shocked at the humiliating series of defeats that their armies have faced during the Russia-Ukraine war, with many high-profile politicians thinking of looking for a successor to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Political consultant and former speechwriter to Putin Abbas Gallyamovn said during an interview that many in Russia have been shocked at the tremendous defeats that Russia has suffered in the hands of Ukrainian troops, especially as Russian forces in the previously-occupied parts of Ukraine find themselves retreating hastily from the advancing army, according to Business Insider.

“The Russian political system is in real shock now — this is no exaggeration,” Gallyamovn said. He expounded that “they could never imagine that Ukrainians would be advancing and the Russians — the Russian troops, the invincible troops how they were viewing them — would have to retreat and not just to retreat, but to actually run away.”

Ukrainian troops have been advancing throughout the Kharkiv region for the past few weeks, recently liberating communities such as Novovorontsovska, Kochubeivska, Vysokopolska, and Velykooleksandrivsk, forcing many retreating Russian troops to either leave their equipment or destroy them, the Daily Beast reported.

“[Little] by little the Russian public opinion got acquainted to the thought that, OK, Ukrainians are not so bad after all — they can defend themselves, they can be on the defensive,” Gallyamovn said. “But nobody could expect that they would advance so rapidly, so professionally, and to make the Russians retreat.”

The Russian autocrat, who has been taking a step back from duties recently as he tries to mitigate the damage that the recent defeats have given him, might be in danger of being ousted by the Russian political system due to the Russia-Ukraine war.

“Putin’s image is tarnished,” his former speechwriter said. “The next thing which is going to happen in Russian politics within the next like several months, maybe up to half a year, is the elites will start looking for a successor.”

The European Union, which has found itself in a natural gas crisis in the near future due to its support of Ukraine, has doubled down on the support amidst the victories the country is experiencing.

“It’s absolutely vital and necessary to support Ukraine with the military equipment they need to defend themselves. And they have proven that they are able to do this, if they are well equipped,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said during a visit to Kyiv.

A former speechwriter for Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed on Wednesday that some of the political elite in Russia are considering ousting him due to the recent defeats in Ukraine. Contributor/Getty Images.

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