Putin’s own men are already debating who should replace him

Three months after Vladimir Putin’s bloody “special operation” in Ukraine, his own men in the Kremlin are reportedly debating who should replace him.

That’s according to new reports from the independent news agency Meduza, which cited several sources close to Russia’s presidential administration as saying officials were increasingly fed up with Putin personally.

Some of Putin’s own allies within the Kremlin walls have reportedly floated the idea of ​​Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin or former President Dmitry Medvedev, who is now Deputy Chairman of the Security Council, as his successor. Sergei Kirienko, the first deputy chief of staff of the presidential administration, is also said to have been considered as a candidate.

“The point is not that they are now preparing a plot and want to overthrow Putin. But there is an understanding or a desire that he won’t be ruling the country any time soon,” a source was quoted as saying.

“Probably there are almost none [members of the elite] who are happy with Putin. [The business community] and many members of the government are unhappy that the president started the war without thinking about the extent of the sanctions – it is impossible to live with such sanctions,” another source close to the Kremlin told Meduza.

“The problems [in Russia due to the war] are already visible, and in the middle of summer they will pour in from all directions: transport, medicine, even agriculture. Nobody thought of such a magnitude [of impacts]’ said another source.

The dissatisfaction should be shared both among those close to Putin, who want the war to continue, and among those who would rather seek a way out.

But according to Meduza, Putin himself is still deliberately blind, insisting that the country’s growing economic problems have nothing to do with the war. And even those officials who have spoken privately about potential successors know that the only way for Putin to leave is for his health — which has been the focus of rampant rumors of terminal illnesses in recent months — to deteriorate significantly. (The head of Ukraine’s defense intelligence service Tuesday reiterated claims that Putin was suffering from cancer among other “serious illnesses,” but he said there was no hope “Putin will die tomorrow.”) As a source told Meduza, “are people stuttering, but they keep working and putting the country on a war base.”

Nikolai Patrushev, secretary of Russia’s Security Council, signaled Tuesday that Moscow is well prepared for a protracted war in Ukraine.

“We’re not chasing deadlines,” he said in an interview with the Russian newspaper arguments and facts. “All the goals set by the President of Russia will be met. There is no other way as truth, including historical truth, is on our side,” he said.

Even the high-profile resignation of a high-profile Russian diplomat who this week denounced the Kremlin’s “warmongering” hasn’t swayed Moscow from its bloody war in Ukraine.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Tuesday largely dismissed the departure of Boris Bondarev, adviser to the Russian mission to the United Nations in Geneva.

In a comment to the Interfax news agency, Peskov said Bondarev’s resignation meant he was “against us”.

“He condemns the actions of the Russian leadership, and the actions of the Russian leadership are supported by almost the entire population of our country,” Peskov said. Putin’s own men are already debating who should replace him


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