What If Putin Were Suddenly to Really Drop Dead?

Update 16 March 15: After 10 days in seclusion, President Putin emerged today, laughing off the speculation that he may have been indisposed — or deposed. One might suspect that Putin had actually died and been revived as a zombie. But in truth, he has always been like that.

Putin is set to meet with Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev on March 16 in St. Petersburg to discuss further details on the Moscow-led Eurasian Union. But until then, the palace intrigue will continue to boil as the world wonders just what is going on with Russia’s president. __ FP

Update: Putin has not been seen in public since March 5… Rumors are swirling about the possible illness — or even death — of Russian President Vladimir Putin. __Vox

Victim of coup? More on silent coup rumours. More rumours.

Russian Orthodox Funeral

Russian Orthodox Funeral

At about 11 a.m. ET on Monday (January 26, 2015), our beloved politician Vladimir Putin passed away. Vladimir Putin was born on October 7, 1952 in Saint Petersburg. He will be missed but not forgotten. __ From Facebook Entry on Putin’s Death … More

At this point in time, Russia is a nation in decline. If Putin were suddenly to disappear, how would that affect the national trajectory?

What Would Happen if Putin Died?

What if Putin really were to suddenly drop dead? (Or, if that’s too morbid a thought, what if he were abducted by aliens? Or decided to retire to North Korea with his new buddy Kim Jong Un?) What would be the consequences of his sudden and total departure from the political scene?

Kremlin Deputy Chief of Staff Vyacheslav Volodin recently told journalists, “There is no Russia if there is no Putin.” Other pro-government supporters have regularly predicted the near collapse of the Russian state without Putin in the Kremlin.

… Russia would see a violent internal struggle for power among the Kremlin elite, especially if Medvedev—largely seen as a weak figure with little political clout—were named acting president.

… “This could have devastating consequences, from mass protests and crisis to the worst-case scenario of civil war.” … “Putin would be used as a scapegoat by the new authorities,” says Pavlovsky, the former Kremlin spin doctor. “All of Russia’s problems would be blamed on him, at least initially.

… “A monopoly on power is the root of this corrupt system,” says Dmitry Gudkov, one of just a handful of genuine opposition-minded lawmakers in Russia’s parliament. “If we were to see a power grab by hardliners in the event of his death or retirement, then things would continue as before. Perhaps they would even get worse. The power of the oligarchs could even increase.”

But the most depressing prediction was made by Kashin, the journalist who survived the attempt on his life. He believes his homeland is fated to suffer eternal oppression, corruption and stagnation. With or without Putin. “There is nowhere to get new leaders from, or a new opposition, or a new people,” Kashin has written. __Vocativ

With or Without Putin, Russia is Going Down

Putin and his advisers are driving the country toward a catastrophe. If the Kremlin keeps it up, says Rabinovich, Russia will experience a total economic collapse within months. __ Source

EU plans to tighten sanctions against Russia and Putin insiders

Putin and his supporters seem fixated on preserving the status quo, which means, above all, perpetuating their power. Thus, they are incapable of implementing needed reforms.

Anyone old enough to remember the implosion of the communist system in 1991 may be experiencing a sense of déjà vu these days. Today’s circumstances are somewhat reminiscent of those that existed during the late 1980s: there’s a polity that cannot be reformed, a leader who cannot be replaced and an economy plagued by corruption and mismanagement. The only major difference is that shop shelves during the late Soviet era were empty, while there are no shortages today. Yet skyrocketing prices may well put goods quickly out of reach for an ever larger segment of society.

If history is any judge, the trajectory for Putin’s system is pretty clear: it is heading inexorably towards collapse. __Beginning of the End for Putin

Putin is isolating Russia from the more advanced world, immersing mother Russia more deeply into corrupt third world style government. China is not an answer, since China itself is largely a third world nation if one looks beyond the thin layer of glitter.

President Vladimir Putin is peevishly shooting his nation in the foot. Russia confronts serious terrorism threats, and its nuclear security, while improved, is not stellar. Fissile material remains spread out over too many time zones in too many different warehouses. __Putin Shoots Russia in Foot

Every day that passes gives Russians more reasons to be dissatisfied with Putin’s mafia state.

Putin and his close circle were trained in subversion and propaganda by the KGB, says Rabinovich, and do not understand the complexity and interdependence of international financial markets. As their anti-Western rhetoric and policies erode investor trust, Russia slides into Soviet-style isolation. Yet Russia’s economy today is so closely linked with the global markets that isolation will mean total economic meltdown.__ Source

Putin is facing a dangerous turning point, says Rogov. He “understands he has no resources to stabilize the economy at this moment. It doesn’t depend on his will at this moment. That makes him very angry and very nervous.” __Things are slipping beyond Putin’s control

The decisive battle for Russia may be fought between a corrupt Putin and Russia’s corrupt elite If Putin survives that long.

Should Putin be lying incapacitated all agreements, ground rules, indeed the stability which flowed from his person would be placed in doubt. Brian Whitmore at Radio Free Europe writes: “in a political system like Russia’s, where formal institutions are weak, court politics are paramount, and personal ties mean everything”. Everything substantial is founded on the will of Putin. Once the foundation is undermined the entire tower totters. __ Richard Fernandez

… in Russia today, there is no clear succession plan in place. Technically, of course, there is: Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev would take over if Putin were to suddenly die or become incapacitated. But the real question isn’t who would assume Putin’s office, but who would assume his role: who would really take power after he is gone. That question remains unanswered.

That is a significant source of potential instability for Russia, and it deserves to be taken seriously, even if the rumors themselves do not. It is easy to mistake Putin’s personal control over the levers of power in Russia for a sign of strength — after all, it makes him look like an especially powerful leader. But for Russia, it is a weakness. And that means that for the rest of the world, and for Russians, it is a potential source of instability and danger. __ Vox

Putinism is a deadly threat to the entire world.  We will not know if what comes after Putin is worse than Putinism, until it happens.

Why Putin(ism) must die

…one must not help Putin save face. One must help him lose it, and one must help him break his neck” as well.

Putin has always been corrupt, and short-sighted. His indifference to the suffering of ordinary Russians has always been of a psychopathic nature, and can only grow worse with time.

Shadow of the tyrant’s darkness

Documentation of the army of Russian internet trolls, some based in St. Petersburg

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2 Responses to What If Putin Were Suddenly to Really Drop Dead?

  1. Abelard Lindsey says:

    My understanding is that Putin was a mid-level career KGB officer when the USSR collapsed. Those who used to work with him have said in interviews that he was not especially bright or outstanding in any capacity. Perhaps he was just keeping his head low in the byzantine bureaucracy and back-stabbing organizational culture that comprised the old KGB.

    I think he owes his rise to power to deals he made with various oligarchs to back him and he would, in turn, favor them. The only reason why Putin appears smart is because he is smarter than Obama, a relatively low hurtle to pass.

    • alfin2101 says:

      Putin is not a great strategist. He is instead a clever tactician. __ LATimes

      The reputed master tactician is not necessarily a brilliant strategist. He may even be a poor tactician if he is reacting to events more than he is controlling them. __ Moscow Times

      Any half-wit could have managed the Ukrainian rejection of the criminal Yanukovych without starting a war. Putin simply wanted to make an example of Ukraine, to teach the rest of Eastern Europe not to think of being too independent. There has been significant backblast, despite a masterful propaganda campaign by the Kremlin.

      He has made many deals, and gone back on almost as many. Eventually, when dealing with such high level criminals as those who rule Russia, one is apt to be on the receiving end of blast and shrapnel injuries.

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