Anti-Russia activists and former Russian lawmakers opposed to Russian President Vladimir Putin have gathered in Poland in recent days to discuss what Putin’s impeachment would look like after nearly nine months of his war in Ukraine.
Among the scenarios discussed by the anti-Russia group were Russians staging a civil war, taking up arms and killing Putin Euractiv.
Guerrilla warfare may be the only way to bring down Putin, said opposition activist Viacheslav Maltsev. “The main goal is to physically eliminate Putin,” Maltsev said.
“The fight against terrorists requires the methods of terrorists,” said a politician who was present, according to Gazeta Wyborcza.
Ilya Ponomarev, a former State Duma member and the only Russian lawmaker who voted against the annexation of Crimea in 2014, arranged the gathering and said he had organized an underground resistance movement in recent months. Some have questioned whether he is indeed leading a coalition of rebels, while others have questioned whether he has become too radical and violent, as reported by The Daily Beast. According to reports, allies of opposition leader Alexei Navalny did not attend the meeting Euractiv.
Regardless of Ponomarev’s claims and tactics, however, this weekend’s gathering in Poland is just the latest sign that anti-Putin opponents are getting louder by the day.
The chatter about a Putin supplanter comes as he struggles to make gains in his war in Ukraine, and dissent for his war is growing in Russia. Ukrainian forces have gained momentum since they began conducting counter-offensives against Russian forces in southern and north-eastern Ukraine, forcing the Russians to withdraw. And to replace those lost on the battlefield, Putin announced a “partial mobilization” for eligible Russian men — but instead of responding with support, hundreds of thousands of Russians responded with a massive exodus from the nation to escape conscription.
Russian officials in St. Petersburg and Moscow have also called for Putin’s ouster in recent months. Elite circles in Russia are also beginning to rally behind the idea that Putin must step down from power, according to a close former Putin aide, his speechwriter Abbas Gallyamov.
Although different groups interested in Putin’s fall from power have different ideas about how to bring about his downfall, according to former senior US intelligence officials, Putin’s downfall may very well be violent and sudden.
“Nobody will ask, ‘Hey Vladimir, do you want to go?’ no It’s a friggin’ hammer blow to the head and he’s dead. Or it’s time to go to the sanatorium,” Daniel Hoffman, a former chief of the CIA’s Moscow station, told The Daily Beast. “They smack him for it. They will do that.”
Even Putin’s closest allies have criticized him in recent days, which could be a signal that Putin’s grip on power – and his future as leader – is unraveling.
Yevgeniy Prigozhin, or “Putin’s cook”, known for his meddling in the US elections and as head of the mercenary Wagner group, has begun spreading a narrative that he is the only man to win the war in Ukraine can. Just last month, Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, another of Putin’s cronies, took to social media to say he was “very dissatisfied” with the way the war was going, calling Russia’s performance “weak”.
Prigozhin has begun to share his own thoughts on leadership and how to win the war.
“To get stronger, to win, you have to treat your opponent with respect,” Prigozhin said earlier this month, according to Reuters. “Don’t underestimate him. Always look for faults in yourself and see what is good and important, what can be learned from the experience of the enemy.”
Some of Russia’s closest partners on the world stage, including China and India, have also sought to distance themselves from Russia in recent weeks. Chinese President Xi Jinping called on other countries to “reject the threat of nuclear weapons and oppose nuclear war to prevent a crisis on the Eurasian continent,” just as Russia has begun to hint that it might resort to nuclear weapons.
Chancellor Olaf Scholz, speaking with Xi last week, said both agreed that Russia would cross a line if it used nuclear weapons.
India’s Defense Minister Rajnath Singh remarked last week that “the nuclear option should not be taken” when Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu confronted him about his suspicions that Ukraine might be using dirty bombs and trying to frame Russia as the culprit.
The Biden administration and Western leaders have denounced Russia’s alleged concerns over the use of a dirty bomb in Ukraine and have hinted that Putin himself may be planning to use a dirty bomb or attempt to frame Ukraine.
Resistance is also building in Belarus, a close ally of Russia. Belarus opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya recently proposed an alliance with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to better tackle Russia’s war and European goals, The Daily Beast reported.
https://www.thedailybeast.com/russian-enemies-of-kremlin-meet-in-poland-to-plot-violent-elimination-of-vladimir-putin?source=articles&via=rss Russian Kremlin enemies meet in Poland to plan violent ‘elimination’ of Vladimir Putin