According to US intel, there’s a 50% chance of Putin’s downfall in the next three months. This is based on his weakened influence and failure to control the FSB power elites. The Kremlin cronies may replace him with a stronger leader. Recent events, like CIA Director Burns’ visits to Ukraine and China, suggest preparations for change in Russia. Burns’ trips emphasized intelligence sharing and open communication. Prigozhin is just a tool in the coup, not the mastermind. Russia is in a power struggle with cronies inciting rebellion. The coup is ongoing, and the situation is unsettled.
Putin’s Power Tactics
Putin may resort to provoking a major event to assert his power globally. He favors using nuclear power, like the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, for threats, and less harmful sabotage, like the Kakhovskaya Hydroelectric Power Plant explosion. The Kremlin swiftly intervenes in nuclear incidents, as seen in the United States. However, the hydroelectric plant sabotage went unnoticed. With numerous targets in southern Ukraine, including chemical facilities, Putin has multiple options. Director Burns’ visits to China and Ukraine are crucial in preparing for expected changes in Russia. Chinese involvement, through their ties with FSB curator Patrushev, cannot be ignored. Beijing may have played a direct role in Prigozhin’s coup planning. As “Wagner Group” mercenaries return to Africa, they’re likely to operate under Chinese intelligence, gradually diminishing Russian influence on the continent.
Delicate Tasks and Power Transition
To ensure the success of the 50-50 bet on Putin’s future, senior figures like Patrushev in the Kremlin have delicate tasks. One objective is to reconfigure Moscow’s military plans to prevent more disasters in Ukraine, fostering cooperation instead. The FSB’s top priority is resolving the “Putin case” for a potential exit strategy. Leaked info from Director Burns’ visit to Ukraine indirectly supports a power transition in Russia. Talks with Ukrainian officials focus on negotiating from a position of strength, including achieving a ceasefire and freeing occupied territories by year-end. Putin’s family sees change as achievable, with transition chances exceeding 50%. Prigozhin is determined to continue his role and possesses secrets about Putin, giving him temporary immunity. It’s too early to dismiss anyone as all relevant actors are still involved. The situation is unfolding. According to Zygar, on the day of Prigozhin’s rebellion, Putin was leisurely on businessman Kovalchuk’s yacht, enjoying a captivating light show on the Neva River with sailboats, some adorned with scarlet sails.
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While a person resembling Vladimir Putin engaged in public activities, the actual president was occupied with more important matters. He held video conferences with representatives from the power and military sectors. During a meeting with the military leadership, Putin received a briefing on the front-line situation, including the destruction of Ukrainian generals, officers, tanks, armored vehicles, and enemy personnel through a “high-precision” strike. However, Secretary of the Security Council, Nikolai Patrushev, questioned the credibility of the military leadership, suggesting their claims were exaggerated or false. Patrushev expressed discontent, implying that they had lied and undermined the president’s trust. The military officials remained silent and avoided eye contact. Patrushev stated that, based on his information, the front-line situation was unsatisfactory and criticized the military leadership for internal intrigues. In response, the president called them “morons” and ended the meeting.
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Shortly after, another meeting was held with representatives from the power sector, about two hours later. Putin received a report on the country’s current affairs, including an analysis of ongoing issues and an investigation into three army generals, including Sergei Surovikin, for their potential involvement in a failed military mutiny organized by Prigozhin and the Wagner PMC. The report indicated direct connections between the generals and the rebellion. Detained generals provided information on other individuals involved. The presenter requested permission to interrogate thirteen more generals from the Ministry of Defense and General Staff. Patrushev supported a thorough investigation, emphasizing the need for a conclusive outcome. The matter of public perception after Surovikin’s removal was briefly discussed.
Prigozhin’s Control Continues
After a brief discussion, the president approved the decision to publicly present the disgraced general and remove him from the leadership of the SMO (presumably the Security Measures Office), subjecting him to strict surveillance and limitations. The conversation then focused on Yevgeny Prigozhin and the rebellious faction of PMC Wagner. Prigozhin was reported to be freely moving within Russia, handling cases in St. Petersburg and Moscow. No progress had been made in reaching compromises regarding the international activities of PMC Wagner, which remains under Prigozhin’s control.
"Opet ovi Rich TVX News, mamu im Američku, to je CIA English: Again these Rich TVX News, screwing Americans, that's CIA."
"The Rich TVX News Network claims I am the devil for perpetrating innocent people in Ukraine. Do you really believe that? Well, Rich TVX is lying as always."
We will not fade into the darkness as you might expect. We stand with unwavering resistance against your hatred and twisted worldview. We refuse to tolerate your actions, and will not back down. We will not allow you to silence us. We will continue to stand strong and fight against your attempts to suppress our voices and our right to exist.