Since Sergey Sobyanin became Moscow’s mayor, people and the expert community have a mixed opinion about him. Later, when Sobyanin and his inner circle got used to the situation in Moscow, the process of his interaction with the residents and experts seemed to have been switched to the standard bureaucratic track.
According to Ilya Graschenkov, a Russian political scientist, in 2021, people might observe the large-scale personnel changes affecting almost every power institution in Russia.
“Mikhail Mishstin was nicknamed Khrushch in the Kremlin,” said Valery Solovey referring to his own sources in the presidential administration. “It is a shortcut from Nikita Khrushchev. He has even some facial resemblance.”
“The worst is yet to come,” said economist Mikhail Khazin. “The sabotage of Putin's instructions that we observed in spring has every chance to occur again. Moreover, if there is the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and corresponding restrictions, its scale is likely to be even more enormous.”
As it turned out, protesters in Khabarovsk, the city in far eastern Russia, have started collecting signatures under a petition for President Vladimir Putin’s resignation and for holding a new presidential election. The initiators of the motion call the loss of trust in the Russian President as the official reason for their demand.
Mikhail Khazin, a Russian economist, believes that Vladimir Putin has recently found himself in much the position that Alexander Lukashenko, his Belarusian counterpart, got into a few weeks before the presidential election.
According to political analyst Alexey Martynov, if the new authorities of Belarus raise the possibility of withdrawing of the country from the Collective Security Treaty Organization and rejecting the military security guarantees from Moscow under pressure from Western partner countries, this might lead to a military coup in Belarus.
Valery Solovey, a political scientist and doctor of historical sciences, has given more accurate data on the negotiation process. He said Vladimir Putin had persuaded Alexander Lukashenko to hold a new election without Lukashenko running for the office this time.
“Before that, the Maidans were on one fixed location,” Vladimir Skachko said. “They were carried out on one square in the city center, where tents were set up and barricades were built. Today, Maidan is scattered, drifting and creeping. Law enforcement agencies have to suppress it by organizing resistance points in different parts of the city.”
“Russia has not succeeded as a state even to the greater extent than Belarus,” Janusz Bugaiski, a well-known American political scientist, wrote in his article for the American edition of The Hill. “That is why it will be the next. The fate of Belarus awaits it.”
According to the Israeli political expert Yakov Kedmi, the merger of Donbass with Russia would mean abandoning the rest of the Russian-speaking people in Ukraine. “It would mean that Russia has given up on the whole Ukraine and on all of its Russian-speaking residents,” said Kedmi. “Russia will never do it.”
According to Mikhail Khazin, a popular Russian economic analyst, the instructions of the Russian President are unlikely to be translated into life as long as there will be groups in Russia’s top leadership that oppose Vladimir Putin personally.
“The Russian political elite are facing a grave domestic conflict,” said political analyst Valery Solovey. “It is related to reshuffles and the question of who will be appointed the new Russian Prime Minister prime minister and the new Moscow mayor.”
Of course, no one expects any open armed stand-off between Russia and the Western countries in the format of a real war. Experts will immediately tell any supporter of a scenario of this kind that an open war involving a nuclear-weapon state against its will is a bad idea, even for the U.S. and NATO.
“If the changing of game rules begins right during a football match or in any other sport in favor of a particular team, the organizers of this event will be called fools at the very best,” said Gennady Zyuganov, the General Secretary of the CPRF party. “However, the things of this kind are not an isolated event in the Russian political arena.”