According to the opposition activist Gennady Gudkov, who is a former colonel of the Federal Security Service (FSB), he came to these conclusions on the grounds of numerous factors. For example, to his thinking, it is obvious that the Russian President acted out of character during the acute phase of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The fate of the Russian presidency is one of the most intensely discussed subjects of recent years. At first, numerous experts shared their opinions on how Vladimir Putin would be able to stay in power given that according to the current Constitution, his presidential terms expired in 2024. There was even a theory called “Successor operation” which, by the way, remains relevant to some degree at present.
However, in the summer of 2020, the discussion took on a new aspect. The Russian authorities themselves put forward amendments to the Constitution, which, among other things, provided for resetting Vladimir's presidential terms to zero. In other words, at present, Putin has the opportunity to run for presidency two more times, that is, to lead the country until 2036. However, experts increasingly say that the incumbent Russian President is unlikely to use this opportunity, or even will not be able to.
“Putin Starts Transferring Powers to Law Enforcement Agencies”
For example, Gennady Gudkov, the retired FSB colonel and opposition politician, believes that Putin has indeed agreed to quit his post. So, he is unlikely to stay in power in Russia in the foreseeable future. “In my opinion, the power transit in Russia has begun,” said Gudkov. “Putin started transferring powers to the law enforcement agencies. I have no insides in this regard. I am only analyzing the situation based on logic and available information. Moreover, Putin could agree to leave the post of President both voluntarily and on the grounds of health. Chances are he will hand over powers to a group of people headed by law enforcement officials who will have to decide how to preserve Putinism without Putin.”
According to Gudkov, he came to these conclusions on the basis of numerous factors. For example, to his thinking, it is noticeable that the Russian President acted out of character during the acute phase of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Look around the world, quite mature heads of states have not stopped working actively,” said Gudkov. “Apparently, they were not extremely afraid of the virus, although they are all public people and have quite high chances of getting infected. As for Putin, from the very beginning of the pandemic, he is in the bunker and, according to the rhetoric of the Kremlin representatives, might stay there until the end of this year. How can a manually operated country be left aside? Moreover, it is the country that has also faced serious problems. Most likely, Putin is very afraid of something.”
Among other things, Gudkov draws attention to the fact that the quality of the Russian President’s speaking has deteriorated noticeably. Previously, Putin could conduct many-hours-long interviews, in the course of which he constantly spouted off facts and figures. However, at present, it seems as if he does not fully control the situation in the country.
“I suppose that at some point, Vladimir Putin began to transfer power either through agreements with his inner circle or because of his health condition,” said Gudkov. “Apparently, he is transferring the power to someone he can trust, namely, to the law enforcement officials. All the current repressions, arrests and poisonings point out the fact that law enforcers have been given greater powers and feel freer. All the more so because they do not know how to act in any other way.”