Putin humiliated by former NATO boss brutal comments: Nothing remarkable about him

Former navy officer warns over Putin nuclear threat

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Putin could view a potential defeat in Ukraine as an existential threat to his leadership and regime, and so unleash Russia’s nuclear arsenal, a US intelligence official has warned. It came after intelligence chiefs briefed the US Senate on a list of worldwide threats, of which Putin currently tops. Many believe that the Ukraine war will protract which could lead to the Russian President making increasingly desperate decisions, including full mobilisation, rolling out martial law, and even the use of a nuclear warhead.

The harrowing forecast came as fighting continued in southern Ukraine and Russian missile strikes on the port of Odessa.

Much has been said about what Putin might do next, with experts attempting to dissect his mental state in order to conclude where the war might be headed.

One psychologist that Express.co.uk previously spoke to said their research indicated that Putin was a high-functioning narcissist.

He is believed to take pride in status, power and the view that he is on the front foot in foreign pursuits — but the Ukraine war has largely shattered these ideals.

While experts suggest he is ego-driven, others have argued that his approach to power is more clinical.

Samuel Lovett, a journalist at The Independent, recently spoke to a wide range of diplomats, political aides, fellow journalists and academics who have all met and conversed with Putin in the last 22 years, witnessing his meteoric rise to power.

Among those he spoke to included Lord George Robertson, the former general secretary of NATO from 1999 to 2004, who would have dealt with Putin and met him on several occasions during the early years of his presidency.

He described Putin as “unremarkable”, and said his sartorial taste was “plain”, a far cry from the usually brassy appearance of dictators.

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Lord Roberston said: “There was nothing remarkable about him. Sometimes when you meet people, you’re magnetised by their presence.

“Putin had nothing about him. The suit was plain blue. The tie was blue with polka dots.

“The watch was absolutely plain. There were no cufflinks. No jewellery. A classical intelligence officer.”

His words echo the conclusion that his ex-wife, Lyudmila Aleksandrovna Ocheretnaya, came to on their first meeting in the Eighties.

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They had met through mutual friends and agreed to go on a blind date to a theatre.

Speaking during an interview in 2000, Lyudmila said Putin was “poorly dressed” and very unprepossessing”.

She added: “I wouldn’t have paid any attention to him on the street.”

Regardless, the two went on to marry and have two children together.

But in 2014, the couple announced their official divorce on Russian state television, with Lyudmila soon becoming a mere footnote in Russia’s modern history.

Earlier this year Express.co.uk spoke to Aubrey Immelman, associate professor of psychology at the College of Saint Benedict, Saint John’s University, who has spent much of his career profiling the psychological states of world leaders.

In 2017, he published a profile of Putin with data collected from March 2014 — just as Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine.

He found that the Russian leader possessed several primary personality patterns: “Dominant/controlling (a measure of aggression or hostility), ambitious/self-serving (a measure of narcissism), and Conscientious/dutiful, with secondary Retiring/reserved (introverted) and Dauntless/adventurous (risk-taking) tendencies and lesser Distrusting/suspicious features”.

Setting out the definitions that apply to each personality trait attributed to Putin, Prof Immelman said: “Dominant individuals enjoy the power to direct others and to evoke obedience and respect; they are tough and unsentimental and often make effective leaders.

“This personality pattern comprises the ‘hostile’ component of Putin’s personality composite.

“Ambitious individuals are bold, competitive, and self-assured; they easily assume leadership roles, expect others to recognise their special qualities, and often act as though entitled.

“This personality pattern delineates the ‘expansionist’ component of Putin’s personality composite.

“Conscientious individuals are dutiful and diligent, with a strong work ethic and careful attention to detail; they are adept at crafting public policy but often lack the retail political skills required to consummate their policy objectives and are more technocratic than visionary.

“This personality pattern fashions the ‘enforcer’ component of Putin’s personality composite.

“Retiring (introverted) individuals tend not to develop strong ties to others, are somewhat deficient in the ability to recognise the needs or feelings of others, and may lack spontaneity and interpersonal vitality.

“Dauntless individuals are adventurous, individualistic, daring personalities resistant to deterrence and inclined to take calculated risks.”

Concluding his profile of Putin, Prof Immelman states: “The blend of primary patterns in Putin’s profile constitutes a composite personality type aptly described as an expansionist hostile enforcer.”

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