“Crisis seems the one and only way to do it. The [political] system is unlikely to be transformed, and everyone understands that. As early as this autumn, we might observe the first signs of a coup d'état in Russia,” summed up Pr. Solovey.
The coronavirus pandemic, the pressure caused by global sanctions, the OPEC+ deal collapse with the ensuing oil prices crash, the drop in household incomes, and the general economic crisis – all these and many other factors obviously affect not only Russia and its elites on top of that.
Of course, in the run-up to voting on amendments to the Constitution, the forthcoming changes of the government, or even the so-called “shift of power,” the Kremlin and the Russian elites should not allow an uncontrolled fall in popularity ratings. Otherwise, the situation will not only be out of control but also lead to much bigger problems than the ones, which even the worst scenarios may forecast.
Obviously, Kremlin Is in Big Trouble
Meanwhile, a number of experts have already shared their opinion that the federal government is practically in a desperate situation, and there is no easy way out of it. In any case, even if the country overcomes the epidemic, the crisis provoked by it and a number of other factors, it is clear that it is unlikely to be the same. At the same time, the situation is significantly aggravated by a whole set of internal and external factors. They may not only disrupt the Kremlin's plans for changing the government, but also deprive it of control over the situation and leave such an unassailable authority as Vladimir Putin out.
Professor Valery Solovey, a well-known Russian historian, political scientist, publicist and former head of the Public Relations Department at the Moscow State Diplomatic University (MGIMO), shared the same opinion in an interview with the Sotnik TV YouTube channel. According to him, it is obvious that the Kremlin is deep in trouble today. Moreover, the situation might get worse at any moment.
Solovey is confident that the first signs of an impending coup d'état may appear in Russia as early as the fall of 2020. He states that the Kremlin is already aware of the incumbent President’s plummeting ratings.
Moreover, according to Solovey, Vladimir Putin has already been informed about confidential statistics according to which the level of dissatisfaction with his actions has reached the highest point in two decades. Moreover, as well as the level of people’s readiness for protest actions. Solovey particularly emphasizes that towards the end of 2020 the protest activities of the residents may be even higher than those of 2011 and 2012.
Valery Solovey notes that in addition, there is a heavy burden of the socio-economic crisis which has already occurred. “The crisis will be very large-scale,” he says. “Chances are it will be much graver than what has officially been said – about twice as bigger. The economic decline and unemployment rate might be more serious, too. And this can be still considered a best-case scenario.”
“This Autumn we Might Observe the First Signs of a Coup d'état in Russia”
At the same time, Solovey refers to the Russian senior security officials. He claims that, allegedly, they are ready to take control of the situation and they earlier even appealed to Sergei Shoigu, head of the Defense Ministry, with a proposal to introduce army units in Moscow to distribute food rations to the needy.
“To put it simply, the army on its tanks and armored personnel carriers performs a noble mission and helps the people. Putin is not ready to go that far, because this is an extremely dangerous operation,” says Solovey. According to his assessment, the current Russian government has lost any chance to be saved in this situation but some of its beneficiaries are gradually thinking over the scenarios for its transformation.
“I presuppose many more mistakes might be made. However, it’s important to understand that there are some mistakes that are worse than crimes,” Solovey says, adding that although the majority in power no longer wants a vote on the amendments to the Constitution, Putin continues to insist on implementing these plans.
“It is very dangerous for elites,” sums up Solovey. “A ship is likely to enter the storm without anchor or sails. Crisis seems to offer the only way to do it. The [political] system is unlikely to be transformed, and everyone understands that. Already this autumn, we might observe the first signs of a coup d'état in Russia.”
It is noteworthy that just a week ago, Yuri Shvets, Vladimir Putin's former fellow student, also made an unexpected announcement that the Russian political elite is preparing to remove Putin from his post. The Kremlin reportedly knows about the upcoming “rebellion” and is even trying to rally support in Washington. According to Shvets, this may be associated with the more frequent talks between the incumbent Russian President and U.S. President Donald Trump, as well as with Moscow's requests for lifting the sanctions, which have been recently called useful.