28 February 2024, Wednesday, 22:22
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Putin's Colossal Mistake

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Putin's Colossal Mistake
Andrey Piontkovsky

What started in the Kremlin after the liquidation of the Lyman mousetrap?

The liquidation of the Lyman mousetrap does not mean that the entire military front will collapse tomorrow. Much more, it is the trigger of a huge political success. And if the military front does not collapse, certainly the political one will.

For it is not an isolated success. The capture of Lyman paves the way further into Luhansk region. In other words, news of Ukraine's military successes will soon be bombarding Russians, with a possible final blow in October - the takeover of Kherson. That is what could collapse Putin's political support, and his own entourage will want to get rid of him.

They may do so in a fairly benign way by announcing that "Putin has fallen ill and is handing over his powers to a collective body" such as the Security Council. A week later it will turn out that he needs treatment in Chinese centres of alternative medicine.

As for the attitude of the people towards Putin, naturally, the more defeats there are, the clearer it will become to these hundreds and thousands of "mobilised" (and Putin plans to recruit a million) that they are being sent to certain death. The ethnic republics are in fact ignoring the mobilization. Ramzan Kadyrov has not even started it. He is preoccupied with entirely different matters. He sees himself in post-Putin Russia and is concerned about his army as a base for defending Chechnya's independence when the Russian Federation collapses. Mobilization has been temporarily suspended in Dagestan. The main point is that these are two intertwined processes: mass indignation and the understanding by the top leadership that the war is lost and Putin is merely an obstacle to solving their personal problems.

Putin's colossal mistake, in relation to his entire entourage, is that he has given them a golden opportunity to get rid of him, gain popularity with the entire nation and hold on to power.

After they send him off sick, their first decree will be to abolish mobilisation - and their rating will be 95% the next day. For, in today's conditions, the cancellation of mobilisation is a question of 25 million conscripts and 50 million more of their families. It is a matter of life and death for the whole country. And the people who will cancel the mobilisation will be able to stay in power for a long time and retain their huge assets. He himself has created the basis for a palace coup against him.

Andrey Piontkovsky, Novoe Vremya

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