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Could Putin Be Overthrown From Within?

If you’re waiting for a coup to overthrow Vladimir Putin, you are likely to be waiting for quite some time. Rumors abound, of course. But Putin has built up a fortified castle here, and his oligarchs are who they are because he allowed them to be, in return for their complete non-involvement in politics. They are powerless and fearful. And this system has been in place since the late 90s. Those oligarchs do not exist without Putin. These aren’t the oligarchs of earlier periods. Their biggest concern right now is to evade Western sanctions and escape with their yachts. 

The Russian people can protest all they want, but it will take a long time - and a great deal of organization that does not currently exist - to turn an organic protest into a coup, especially when even the mildest of protesters is detained by security forces.

There is no quick end to this war, which has now become a war of attrition, with civilians targeted in cowardly airstrikes because ground forces have been unable to advance as planned. 

There is also a war of attrition on the economic playing field, where energy is one of the biggest weapons. Putin’s latest move in this aspect of the war was to demand that Europe (and every ‘enemy’) pay for Russian gas supplies in rubles, within a week. Based on 2021 figures, that would be $50 billion in rubles. It means that Europe (mostly) would be purchasing tons of rubles on a daily basis to pay for Russian…

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