An “overwhelming majority” of Russian business elites and government officials are against the war in Ukraine and could be persuaded to change sides and topple Putin, a leading Kremlin opposition figure has told Express.co.uk.
Ilya Ponomarev is a tech entrepreneur and former politician who served as an MP in Russia’s parliament for almost 10 years between 2007 and 2016.
He has extensive contacts with both business and government elites inside Russia.
A strident critic of the war, he is currently living in Kyiv and has joined Ukraine’s territorial defense forces.
The former Vice President of the Yukos Oil company has been using his time in Ukraine to rally the democratic opposition to Putin’s regime and bring about its overthrow.
To that effect, he has helped to create the Congress of People’s Deputies – a transitional parliament consisting of 59 Russian politicians opposed to the Putin regime.
The Congress will hold its second session in Poland between February 20-23, as it develops plans for a Russian future without Putin.
However, Mr Ponomarev told Express.co.uk that any successful attempt to topple Putin would require the support of the Kremlin elites.
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