'What scares Putin is he's increasingly cornered — and he can't trust people around him': Counter-intel expert
Russia's President Vladimir Putin (AFP)

Foreign policy experts have suspected that Russian President Vladimir Putin has grown more reckless as he's gotten older, which led him to drastically underrate the costs of invading Ukraine.

Speaking to MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace, counter-intelligence expert Frank Figliuzzi, explained that so many of the reports on Putin's mental state are unsubstantiated and it's difficult to discern what is true about Putin and his motivations.

One thing that Figliuzzi said that is obvious is that Putin has been so marginalized by the global community that he is "cornered" in his isolation.

"Well, look, there are professionals in the U.S. intelligence community who do work every day, including people with MDs after their names and PhDs in psychiatry and psychology whose job it is to study his every statement, his every appearance," he explained. "There were reports several months ago, perhaps last year that he had a hand tremor that he was hiding under a table. Once I had heard that from a number of people, and I watched. Any appearance he made, sure enough, he was hiding the same hand repeatedly under tables. He's been isolated, quarantining. There's rumor that that's more than just a fear of COVID."

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"There's even people using conjecture saying he may fear his own staff at times," continued Figliuzzi. "This is someone who's poisoned people. Clearly, he is a cornered person. Everybody I talk to in the former intelligence community professionals tells me that what scares him the most is he's increasingly cornered and doesn't have an off-ramp, doesn't have a rationale to save face. He wants Ukraine. He's getting his butt kicked right now. He can't trust the people around him. He knows that [President Joe] Biden has an unprecedented amount of intelligence. It's an incredible victory for the intelligence community, but he has to be wondering, Nicolle, who on my staff, who in the military, who in my intelligence service is working for the United States? Where are they getting this intel from?"

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