JRL NEWSWATCH: “What Russia’s Elites Think of Putin Now” – Foreign Policy

Vladimir Putin file photo, adapted from screenshot of video at shareamerica.gov

“The president successfully preserved the status quo for two decades. Suddenly, he’s turned into a destroyer.”

“Ukraine’s successful counterattack means that for the first time ever in … Putin’s 22 years in power, he has to deal with elites who disagree with him — on strategic decisions over Russia’s war in Ukraine and how the war may end. Having launched the war not just without any internal discussions, but without even informing key players, Putin has taken huge risks politically. … [Q]uestions about Putin’s decisions are mounting. There are fears that Russia may lose outright. If the president fails to convince the elites that he remains a strong leader with a clear understanding of where he is taking the country, uncertainty may become a significant political risk …. For 21 years … [Putin’s] popularity guaranteed political stability and predictability … [H]is reluctance to carry out … reforms ensured the … status quo. While his high approval rating still safeguards against political destabilization from ordinary Russians, he has suddenly been transformed into a destroyer: a leader of a country with a very uncertain future. But … [i]t’s not anti-Putin sentiment that has been rising. The current political demand is for a decisive, bold, well-informed, and competent strongman — and for Putin these latter two attributes are … in doubt. They want a leader who can guide, confront challenges, mobilize when needed, and give hope of a better future. The elites want the old Putin to return to his duties as a full-fledged political leader, connected to reality and his surroundings, but they don’t know if he still even exists. There is no risk of an anti-Putin takeover, since there is still no alternative … and the elites remain hampered by their fear of the secret services and Putin’s omnipotence. But growing uncertainty, nervousness, and fears that Russia could lose the war will push the elites to act more independently and more boldly against their enemies. Putin’s politically fading star is the biggest threat to the regime — much more dangerous than any possible opposition or mass protests.”

Click here for: “What Russia’s Elites Think of Putin Now; The president successfully preserved the status quo for two decades. Suddenly, he’s turned into a destroyer.” – Foreign Policy/ Tatiana Stanovaya

What Russia’s Elites Think of Putin Now