During the three-month war in Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin has turned both the “war party” and those who want peace against him. The Kremlin hopes that he will leave “in the foreseeable future” and is already looking for a successor.
According to Meduza, the general mood of the Russian elites has changed completely several times over the course of the war – from confusion at the beginning and “patriotic enthusiasm” in April, to pessimism three months after the invasion.
According to sources close to the Kremlin, a great many people are now dissatisfied with Vladimir Putin personally. And this position is held by both those who advocate the continuation of the war and those who want peace.
Meduza’s sources point out that even the President’s successors are being quietly discussed in the Kremlin. Among them are Sergey Sobyanin, mayor of Moscow; Dmitriy Medvedev, deputy chairman of the Security Council; and Sergey Kiriyenko, first deputy head of the AP, who recently became the Kremlin’s curator of Donbas.
So far it’s not a question of overthrowing the president right now, but the topic of “the future after Putin” is being increasingly discussed, and “there is an understanding, or desire, that he will not rule the state in the fairly foreseeable future”.
At the same time, they emphasize that Putin may leave the presidency only if his health deteriorates seriously.
Therefore, the discontent of high-ranking officials does not manifest itself in anything other than conversations.
Meanwhile, the Kremlin has not abandoned the idea of holding referendums on accession of the self-proclaimed “DPR” and “LPR” as well as the Russian-occupied Kherson oblast to Russia.
When exactly they may be held depends on the situation on the front. But now, Meduza’s interlocutors say that the most realistic date is September 11 – the single day of voting in Russia.