The Next Lunatic to Run the Asylum?

Thursday, May 05, 2022

Shortly after Russia invaded Ukraine, there was speculation that Putin might be deposed by oligarch(s) unhappy with the costs to them of Russia's military adventure. A report I read rated that as having about a one in ten chance of happening.

Now there's more talk about a coup, but it's even more speculative and it regards another kind of pressure altogether from different quarter, the Siloviki, who are former members of the state security apparatus who are now in politics.

I agree with Allahpundit that this sounds a lot like a case for being careful of what you wish for:

Image by Chris Linnett, via Unsplash, license.
There have been reports lately that Russia's battlefield setbacks haven't convinced military veterans that the war is hopeless and that it's time to withdraw. To the contrary, some have accused Putin of fighting with one hand behind his back, urging him to ... commit more war crimes in Ukraine, I guess, to show those Nazis who's boss. Russian state media has descended into shrieking about humiliation at NATO's hands and fantasizing about using their nuclear equalizer. If in fact Putin were to be killed or ousted, it's conceivable that whoever replaces him won't give the order to retreat but rather will escalate.

Maybe more than conceivable. The new leader of Russia would want to prove his toughness to his constituents and show the west that he's not to be trifled with right out of the gate, no? [links omitted, bold added]
That's a distinct possibility, particularly if the Russians are as delusional as Putin seems to be.

If the Russian people support the war as much as some seem to believe and basically the entire leadership believes its own propaganda, the only graceful exit -- ending the invasion and apologizing -- is all but closed.

And reports that the media seem to be grooming the people for nuclear war are disturbing to say the least:
On Wednesday night, the editor of the Russian state broadcaster RT blithely discussed the possibility that Russian President Vladimir Putin would initiate a nuclear war, telling viewers, "We will go to heaven, while they will simply croak."
Many Russians, being quite religious, will take that pronouncement seriously.

-- CAV

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