The Russian opposition figure Leonid Volkov is confident that the Ukraine war will cost Vladimir Putin his office: The Kremlin is already seething.
VILNIUS – A prominent Russian exile opposition figure is “confident” that Russia’s President Vladimir Putin will lose office. However, this will not happen through mass demonstrations against the escalating Ukraine conflict, said Leonid Volkov in an interview with the editorial network Germany (RND) – but through resistance in the Kremlin.
Putin facing loss of power in Russia? Ukraine war ‘will cost him his office’
“The idea that Putin can be swept away by a couple of large protest marches is naïve,” said Alexey Navalny, a close confidante of the imprisoned Kremlin critic. “Putin’s ouster will come, but in a different way,” he said. There is enormous unrest in circles of the political and economic elite in Moscow, said Volkov.
After the recent tightening of penalties, the risk of being arrested and losing their jobs for taking part in demonstrations is too great for many Russians, said Volkov.
However, Putin’s military plans in Ukraine have turned out to be unreal. At the same time, Russia is suffering real damage from the economic sanctions imposed by the West. “These two factors add up to a pressure on Putin that will sooner or later cost him the office, I’m very confident about that,” Volkov said. The Ukraine launched rumors of a coup weeks ago, but nothing like that has happened so far.
Putin’s Russia: Navalny confidante expects renewed presidential candidacy
In the event of his release, the prominent Putin critic Navalny would “of course” run for president, said Volkov. Since Navalny has earned a reputation for years as a persistent fighter against corruption and the “obscene differences between rich and poor in Russia”, people regard him as credible. Navalny has been imprisoned in a penal camp east of Moscow since the beginning of last year. A poison attack was carried out on the opposition politician in Russia in August 2020, for which he blames Putin. The Kremlin denies the accusation.
In an interview with the AFP news agency a few weeks ago, Volkov predicted that with the war in Ukraine, Vladimir Putin “drastically reduces the likelihood of a scenario in which he simply stays in the Kremlin until he dies,” like the longtime head of state actually “planned” it. Referring to Kremlin critic Navalny, he said: “Navalny is Putin’s personal political prisoner”. It was “up to Putin alone to decide whether to leave him in prison or free him.” In Volkov’s view, Putin’s fall will mean freedom for Navalny. (AFP/LP)
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