Putin’s Rule ‘Weakening,’ Preparation for Power Struggle Underway

Timothy Snyder. July 23

Patabook News


Yale University history professor Timothy Snyder on Saturday said that Russian President Vladimir Putin‘s ruling is “weakening” and noted that preparation for power struggle is underway.

Snyder pointed in a Twitter thread a sign that Putin is “losing control” is that some former Russian officials such as Dmitry Medvedev spoke about the consequences that await Ukraine and the West.

Medvedev, Putin’s staunch ally who served as Russia’s former president, recently warned that the West’s response to the Russian war in Ukraine could result in the Eastern European country losing “the remnants of state sovereignty and disappear from the world map.”

“Usually the news coverage of such pronouncements focuses on their content. It is tempting to get caught up in the Russian fear propaganda. But the real story is that people aside from Putin now feel authorized to make such proclamations. Before the war there was less of this,” Snyder said.

He further argued that this “doom propaganda” shows loyalty to Putin while also possibly preparing “for a power struggle after Putin falls.”

“If Russia loses the war, the people saying radical things now will have protected themselves. For my part, I tend to see the drastic proclamations as evidence that important Russians think that Russia is losing,” Snyder said.

“I’m not convinced Medvedev, who for years was seen as the liberal alternative to Putin, believes the antisemitic, anti-Polish, anti-Western hate speech he publishes on Telegram. He’s creating a profile that might be useful later (just as his technocrat profile was once useful),” the Yale professor added.

Additionally, Putin is also considered weak because his army is failing to achieve his goals in Ukraine, according to Snyder. Some critics and officials previously made similar observations, including U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken who said that Putin failed in achieving his strategic objectives in Ukraine.

“The equilibrium that keeps Putin in power—mastery over rivals, soft support in the population, integrity of the army—is challenged by the realities of an unpredictable, costly war. Putin has been good at keeping us all in a fog. But now he himself seems lost in the fog of war,” Snyder said on Saturday.

In June, the professor criticized Russia’s Black Sea blockade preventing the transfer of Ukrainian grain exports to other nations, saying that this move “is meant to generate refugees” which would potentially destabilize the European Union.

“Putin’s hunger plan is also meant to generate refugees from North Africa and the Middle East, areas usually fed by Ukraine. This would generate instability in the EU,” Snyder wrote on Twitter at the time.

Black Sea ports in Ukraine had to shut down due to Russia’s war in Ukraine, threatening food supplies as a result. However, both countries agreed to reach a deal, which was brokered by Turkey and the UN, to unblock the Black Sea ports in order to release tens of millions of tons of Ukrainian grain. On a normal day, around 3,000 container loads of grain would arrive at Ukrainian ports, including Odessa where they are kept in vast silos.

However, Ukraine accused Russia of striking its portin Odessa with missiles hours later after the grain deal. The Ukrainian military’s Southern Command said that two Russian Kalibr cruise missiles hit port infrastructure, but that there were no injuries, the Associated Press reported. However, Odessa’s regional governor said that an unspecified number of people were injured, according to the AP.

Newsweek reached out to Russian foreign ministry for comments.

One comment

  1. If I remember an earlier article from Mr Snyder, the only ones looking to overthrow Putin are the idiots who think he’s not doing enough to kill Ukrainians. In which case, I don’t know what’s worst.

    Liked by 4 people

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