After the International Criminal Court in The Hague issued a warrant for the arrest of Russian President Vladimir Putin, the so-called "towers of the Kremlin" began actively looking for the candidacy of his successor.
This information was made public by the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine.
Analysts put forward numerous versions of who and how can replace Putin in office.
TSN.ua gathered the opinions of experts regarding the possible "Successor" operation in Russia.
What they say in intelligence
, the representative of the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense of Ukraine
, said that representatives of Russian business and pro-government elites are trying to contact "third parties" in order to guarantee their safety after the overthrow and change of the regime in Russia.
According to him, "casting" for the role of leader after Putin is already underway in the Russian Federation.
"This casting does not come directly from Putin. In particular, after the issuance of an arrest warrant, they are actively looking for a replacement, but a compromise one that could still preserve both property and freedom for the current representatives of the regime. I think that it will not work out that way in the end." , - says the representative of GUR
Who can replace Putin: versions of experts
One of the real candidates for the role of the new head of the Kremlin is Minister of Agriculture
- son of Putin's closest ally, Secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation
In an exclusive interview with TSN.ua, reserve major general of the Security Service of Ukraine, former deputy head of the Security Service of Ukraine
told about this .
"There is a lot of talk about the successor... There is indeed confirmation that Putin is trying to promote, in particular, the son of his friend and accomplice Patrushev. Putin's recent speeches are kind of wild. When we hear his speeches about turnips or agriculture, we are simply shocked. He during his speech with Xi Jinping, he tried to speak about food. But one must understand that the Minister of Agriculture is Patrushev's son. Maybe this is how they are trying to promote him," says Yagun.
However, the ex-deputy head of the SBU does not rule out that the successor "may be a completely unexpected person."
"As a rule, in Russia there is a tradition that when something extraordinary happens to the leader of the state, the leadership takes over a collective body. Maybe some commission will manage the state for a certain period in the conditions of the transition period," he added.
, a political expert and head of the Center for Public Analytics "Vezh",
believes that the current Prime Minister Mykhailo Mishustin will become the President of the Russian Federation after Putin.
Klochok recalled that Chinese leader Xi Jinping had a meeting with Mishustin during his visit to Moscow.
"The successor that was formed over these two years is the prime minister. And Putin himself can agree to him. I mean Mishustin. Yes, there is a simple justification in that part - economic cooperation. The head of the government will go to China to sign, possibly together with Putin, the Power of Siberia 2 project not in Russia, but in Beijing on Beijing's terms, so that Russia would bring gas there," he said.
The head of the "Wagner" Communist Party,
can stage a coup d'état in Russia and take power from President Vladimir Putin, according to American political scientist
Jason Jay Smart
"Putin thinks he has everything under control. But all dictators think so until a certain moment. It is very difficult to predict when that moment will come," says the American expert.
According to him, Prigozhin can see in the current events in Russia "his own window of opportunity to climb the ladder to the first place."
The adviser of the President's Office , Mykhailo Podolyak,
shares the same opinion
In his opinion, Prigozhin wants to replace the head of the Kremlin and become a key burial ground for Putin's elite.
The adviser to the head of OP predicts that the owner of "Wagner" will come to the oligarchs from Putin's entourage and declare his desire to "redistribute income".
"Prygozhin will definitely do it, because Russia is losing its integrity as a state and we can see it," Podolyak believes.
The head of the independent international intelligence community Bellingcat,
, rules out that the next head of the Russian Federation will be opposition leader Oleksiy Navalny.
According to him, Mishustin was initially considered to take Putin's place in the event of an unfavorable development of the situation, but "his hands were ultimately soiled by involvement in the war."
"In the event that secretive rebels, of whom the absolute majority in the presidential entourage, have the opportunity to cement the results of the social revolution, Oleksiy Navalny may well come to power after the elections. By the way, he has already announced that if he gets at the helm, he will demand from the oligarchy 30% of their wealth goes to the state budget. In any case, losing 30% under Navalny is much better for them than 90% during Putin's rule," Grozev said.
Did Putin get a "shortcut for ruling"?
Russian political scientist
, on the other hand, believes that Putin will be in power for at least one more presidential term, since Chinese leader Xi Jinping declared his support for him during his visit to Moscow.
As the expert recalled, Xi Jinping expressed confidence that the Russian people will support Putin's candidacy in the 2024 presidential elections: "He "appointed", gave Putin a label for a six-year reign in Moscow from the 24th to the 30th."
According to Piontkovsky, Xi's interest is to keep Putin in power at any cost, since the Russian president is "surrendering the Far East and Siberia to China."
In an exclusive interview with TSN.ua,
the expert of the Ukrainian Future Institute,
Ivan Stupak, also expressed doubts about the "Successor" operation.
"I do not agree with the statement of our Main Directorate of Intelligence. If they received such information, it may be in the perspective - "someone will think about this topic". But "casting" - this cannot happen in the Russian Federation. This will mean that Putin - not just a "lame duck with one leg", but with two legs, and the beak is broken, that it should simply be thrown out of the Kremlin. Putin will not forgive this and will not allow it," Stupak said.
The expert recalled how the process of operation "Successor" took place in 2008, when they were looking for who would replace Putin as president:
"For a long time, Putin kept everyone in a state of secrecy, did not tell anyone who was being considered. He allowed everyone from his entourage to form an illusion - "maybe I?" And then he quietly watched how the person behaved... Medvedev was elected at the last moment. Even if Putin is planning something for himself, he will never say - this or that. He will be looking for a long time to see who can become his successor."
According to him, if Putin leaves office, he will become very vulnerable: "He can be poisoned, killed, locked up in a psychiatric hospital, sent to Valdai as a recluse. He is not ready for this."
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