In the early 2000s, Mikhail Kodarkovsky was a Russian oligarch who owned an oil company called Yugos and was ranked 16th richest in the world by Forbes Financial Magazine.
The adventure came to an abrupt end when Kodarkovsky eventually identified himself as a critic of President Vladimir Putin and began financing the opposition. It ended with ten years’ imprisonment before he and his family left Russia and ended up in London, where he described himself as a key critic of the Kremlin.
Putin’s dramatic mistake
Now the Russian establishment and Putin’s critic are releasing a clear statement about what he thinks of Putin’s future.
– Russian history has taught us that regimes that fail in war will be in big trouble in two years. “If Putin does not win the Donbass, I think Putin will lose this war, and he can not live more than two to five years as a dictator because of his dramatic mistakes,” said Michael Kodarkovsky.
Kodarkovsky’s statement came to Stephen Soccer on the BBC’s “hard talk” last week, and has sparked a debate over how strong Vladimir Putin’s regime really is.
Dormod Haier, a lieutenant colonel in the army and a professor at the Norwegian Defense College, believes it is difficult to predict what is moving within the walls of the Kremlin because the system is so closed.
Weak power base
Despite his strong ties with Ukraine, he still believes that Kodarkovsky has a point.
– If the military fails to give Putin victory in the Donbass, his base of power will be weakened. This is especially true within the Secret Service, which often has a broader and more nuanced understanding than the leader above, that is, Putin, says Dermot Hair.
He emphasizes that the Russian state apparatus is characterized by self-censorship and a fear-based form of government with group thinking without critical voices on how to win the war.
– It gives hope that Putin can be ousted from the regime by a change of regime.
Hayer believes this is a strong incentive from the West to force military aid to Ukraine.
“Like other dictatorial leaders, Putin’s major weakness is that the decision to go to war in Ukraine is not properly rooted in the people,” he said.
The threats of censorship, propaganda and harsh punishments against civil society help a little, but Hair believes it is not enough. As the casualties increase and the Russian forces end up in the Ukrainian grave, the problems of the Putin regime will increase.
Hard to cover
– It will be difficult to offset the enormous human, diplomatic, material and economic costs. The power base is at risk of cracking, and retaliators are often secret services, aware of how bad things are, says Dormot Hair.
Ivor P., an expert and director of Russia at the Friedzof Nonsense Institute. Receives great support from Newman.
– If he loses militarily in Donbass, it will be very unattractive to the Russian elite and the Russian people. Newman says that all regimes that lost military conflicts, not only in Russia, but then at home are very difficult.
The beginning of the end for Putin
Whether Putin will take two or five years to ride out of the Kremlin, he thinks it is difficult to estimate, but he sees signs that it is not entirely bright for the Russian leader.
– He is now 70 years old and is said to be in poor health. When it comes to a failed war, I think this is the beginning of the end of Vladimir Putin, says Ivory Coast. Newman.
He believes that while Putin has strongly isolated Russia from the rest of the world, young and well-educated people are leaving the country.
– Now we have to go back to the 1920s to compare the conditions of Russian deportation that are developing in the Balkans, Istanbul, Israel and of course in the West. Those with knowledge of the economy and far-sightedness enough to have two passports now travel in greater numbers from across the country, Newman says.
– Fall to own sword
– Those who can create the biggest problems for Putin may be key figures in his own security service. But after 22 years of voting in this organization, which has a majority of top leaders loyal to Putin, another such uprising must come from slightly younger officials who ally with one of the leaders. If that happens, Newman says it would be paradoxical that he would fall for his own sword.
Julie Wilhelmsen, a senior researcher at NUPI, tells Dagbladet that she thinks it’s too early to say anything about what the outcome of the war will be.
Putin must resign
– Although the Kremlin has apparently miscalculated the situation, it is very difficult to achieve the new, defined goal of capturing eastern and southern Ukraine. He says I can agree with Putin’s prediction that he will resign in two to five years, if the premise is that if Putin does not even gain control of the Donbass, he will lose Crimea as well.
She believes there are many reasons for this. Among other things, the Kremlin has for so long revolved around the notion that “Russia is under attack and strong enough to resist,” and sought to mobilize the entire Russian community in this struggle.
– If Russia seems to have lost, he is responsible. He then lost one of the most important resources that made him powerful in Russia. Moreover, there is little indication that Putin will be left without any form of victory, and Wilhelmson says the war could end before it ends in defeat.
She thinks another important source of ruling power is being undermined; Economic growth for most people. In addition, he believes that trying to control the story of the war and cover up the catastrophic consequences will be difficult for even those in high office in Putin’s organization to influence.
– There are already critical voices, though not many, says Julie Wilhelmson to Docbladet.
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