Russian oligarch: Putin went 'literally insane' when Russian army wasn't met 'with flowers' in Ukraine
Anatoly Maltsev for AFP

Appearing on CNN with host Fareed Zakaria, exiled Russian oligarch Mikail Khodorkovsky tried to explain what is happening with Russian President Vladimir Putin now that his invasion of Ukraine has stalled and the invading army is engaging in atrocities against Ukrainian civilians.

Speaking with the host, he explained that Putin believed his army would receive a warm welcome after they crossed the border.

"So Putin is now facing obstacles in Ukraine," host Zakaria prompted. "Given what you know of his mentality, what is he going to do? Is he going to -- is he going to turn Ukraine into Chechnya? Destroy it? Is he going to back away? What do you think his options are?"

Speaking through a translator, Khodorkovsky explained, "For him, the situation today is very complicated. At first what he wanted was to change the power in Kyiv, put in his puppet and was expecting that this would be met with flowers thrown in the streets by Ukrainian people. When this did not happen he went crazy. The fact that the people in Kharkiv did not meet him with flowers, it not only just angered him, I really think it drove him literally insane."

"That's when he started bombing Kharkiv and Kyiv," he continued. "Right now he has three options that face him, three ways out. First way out is to continue pressuring Ukraine and probably losing troops in this process because the Ukrainians are fighting back ever more strongly with every day. Secondly, he could use weapons of mass destruction in the hope that this would force the Ukrainians to retreat. And the third option is to start actual negotiations."

Watch below:

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