Former Kremlin Speechwriter: Putin Would Not Have Invaded Ukraine If He ‘Had Known What Would Happen’
A former speechwriter for Russian President Vladimir Putin currently living in Israel asserted to Israeli media on Sunday that if Putin “had known what was going to happen” after invading Ukraine, “he would never have done this.”
Abbas Gallyamov’s family has resided in Israel for four years while he commuted to Russia to work as a speechwriter and consultant, but he now lives permanently in Israel.
Putin, he told Israel’s Kan broadcaster, “is ready to stop” the invasion, but “he needs some trophy to present to the general Russian public and to Russian elites.”
Gallyamov said that Putin believed that his invasion of Ukraine would be swift and decisive, and over in a matter of “two or three days,” after which he would be able to impose a puppet government.
The Russian president, he added, “understands that he got into trouble, and definitely he was not counting on that.”
Moreover, said Gallyamov, the primary motive for the invasion was “nothing to do with Ukraine or with the USA or with NATO,” but with Putin’s waning domestic popularity.
“His ratings are going down within the last three, four years,” he said, “and the protest sentiments grow, and Putin is going to face serious problems.”
This, he added, prompted Putin to start the war in hopes of a “rally around the flag effect” that would boost his popularity.
Asked about the recent diplomatic moves by Israel to mediate between Moscow and Kyiv — including Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s weekend visit to Russia, where he met personally with Putin — Gallyamov said that if the Russia leader is willing to listen to reason, “definitely it is only the Israeli prime minister who will be able to deliver it.”
“We all know that, out of all the countries of the first world, out of all the democratic countries, Israel has the best relations with Russia,” he explained. “And Putin really treats Israel differently. … So, if there is anything in general which can help the West and Russia find common ground, then it’s through Israel.”