Kremlin Officials ‘Are Already Discussing Who Will Replace Putin’

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Kremlin Officials 'Are Already Discussing Who Will Replace Putin'

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

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

“It’s not about them wanting
to prepare a plot and overthrow Putin right now. But there is an understanding,
or a desire, that in the fairly foreseeable future he will not run the
country,” one source was quoted saying.

“There are probably almost no
[members of the elite] who are satisfied with Putin. [The business community]
and many members of the government are unhappy that the president started the
war without thinking about the scale of sanctions—it’s impossible to live with
such sanctions,” another source close to the Kremlin told Meduza.

“The problems [in Russia due
to the war] are already evident, and in the middle of the summer they will just
come pouring down from all directions: transportation, medicine, even
agriculture. Nobody thought about such a scale [of impacts],” another source
said.

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

But, according to Meduza,
Putin himself is still willfully blind, insisting that the country’s growing
economic problems have nothing to do with the war. And even those officials who
have been discussing potential successors in private know the only way for
Putin’s departure is if his health—which has been at the center of rampant
rumors about terminal illness in recent months—takes a major turn for the
worse. (Ukraine’s Defense Intelligence chief on Tuesday reiterated claims that
Putin is suffering from cancer in addition to other “serious illnesses,” but
he said there’s no hope “Putin will die tomorrow.”) As one source
told Meduza, that is why “people are sputtering but they continue to work and
put the country on a war footing.”

Nikolai Patrushev, the
secretary of Russia’s Security Council, signaled on Tuesday that Moscow is
fully prepared for its war in Ukraine to drag on.

“We are 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 fulfilled.
There is no other way, since the truth, including historical truth, is on our
side,” he said.

 

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