JRL NEWSWATCH: “The Rocky Road to Replacing Vladimir Putin” – Chatham House (UK)/ Andrew Wood
The transition to Putin’s constitutionally scheduled replacement as president of Russia may be rougher than currently expected.
“… an ordered and stable succession … when … Putin leaves the presidency in May 2024 … is … questionable. Those close to the Kremlin are aging, like Putin. None … has a glimmer of independent authority within the ruling cabal, not even Igor Sechin, for all his personal ties to Putin and … links to Russia’s security services. None enjoy significant public trust. Putin’s power would wane once a potential successor … began to acquire an aura of presidential favour …. That man would have to be accepted by others in the same group …. Hopes and fears as to his future intentions would multiply …. [Putin] might … [, like] Nazarbayev … in Kazakhstan, establish himself as … extraconstitutional commanding mentor to a new president on probation. The possibility of … Putin becoming president of the … Russia-Belarus Union State is unwelcome to Belarus …. Russia’s constitution could be altered …. [N]one of these ruses would … ensure an ordered and stable succession over the longer term. … The mix behind the present power structures in Russia remain in force, feeding riches to the state-related privileged, predation on the wider public and resignation among the powerless. … Kremlin attempts to buttress Russia’s claims to be a Great Power help to bind that mix together. … [Yet] Discontent … troubles a broader range of Russia’s population. United Russia … has lost ground markedly. … There are no effective governmental institutions able to channel popular turbulence should it develop on a serious scale … despite … security forces ….”