In Russia, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the oligarch stripped of his liberty and multi-billion dollar oil company by President Vladimir Putin, believes the country is nearing an economic crisis that could lead to an uprising.

The way Russian people perceive it is [that] the West is punishing Russia for daring to pursue an independent foreign policy.

Mikhail Khodorkovsky, former Russian oligarch

Khodorkovsky fell foul of Putin when he began meddling in politics. In the end, he spent a decade in prison after being found guilty of tax evasion.

He was pardoned by Putin ahead of the Sochi Olympics and now lives in Switzerland, where he is working to galvanise reform-minded Russians through his platform, Open Russia.

Patricia Sabga from Al Jazeera America sat down with Khodorkovsy and asked him whether - given all that has transpired in Ukraine - he thinks the West has underestimated President Putin.

Is Russia nearing an economic crisis? And what can the West do to encourage some reform in Russia?

"Putin's aggression outside of Russia creates a situation in Russia where the national chauvinists are on the rise and that is bringing things to a crisis. Seeing his popularity falling in Russia and seeing the rise of the national chauvinists, Putin attempts to take over their agenda for himself by means of external aggression ... To my great regret we have stepped on to a path of no return. As a result ... the regime in Russia will be destroyed. What sorts of losses this will bring to Russia and to the whole world is something we all have yet to see."

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Source: Al Jazeera