Vladimir Putin could be set to celebrate his "last" birthday as the Russian despot struggles to cling to power inside the Kremlin.
The 71-year-old, who celebrates his birthday today (October 7), could face a power struggle once more, just months after former Wagner group boss Yevgeny Prigozhin mounted a failed rebellion against the president. Prigozhin failed, but it may not deter others from trying.
It does not seem likely the despot will be sticking around for any more birthdays, with Professor Anthony Glees believing this could be his "last one". His time in the Kremlin could come to a close should he lose the war in Ukraine.
READ MORE: Putin's hold on power 'shakier than ever' after trying to 'humiliate' Wagner group
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Putin's leadership has been challenged already this year, and may find itself gunning toward the end rather prematurely should others decide to try and overthrow him. To quell the coup worries, Putin is attempting to install a "stooge" as the new Wagner boss.
Speaking to the Daily Star, Professor Glees said: "Putin will be 71, past the allotted 'three score and ten' and all decent folk will be hoping this birthday will be his last one. There's a very good chance of exactly this.
"Putin knows he needs to win the war, in order not to lose it. A stalemate is not a win. And he is not winning, the Ukrainians are winning. In a mafia state like Russia, Putin is now struggling to stay in the Kremlin and it shows."
Worries from the ruthless Russian may come from the unnamed future leader of the Wagner group. The militia made it clear it would take its "revenge" against Putin, the Daily Star previously reported.
Attempting to fill in the gaps before it's too late, Professor Glees alleged Putin would try and use pal Andrei Troshev to plug some holes in the waning Wagner forces.
He added: "Putin is trying to install his stooge Andrei Troshev as the new Wagner boss to replace Prigozhin, a man loathed by most rank and file Wagner troops, seen as the guy who tried to force them to become Putin's soldiers which triggered the rebellion in June.
"Meanwhile, Russian spending on defence 2023-4 has risen by 68% on 2022-23 Russia, ordinary people are having to undertake civil defence training (which they have done each year) but this year school kids are being trained how to use Kalashnikovs and hand grenades as well as undertake field first aid duties."
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