Putin’s ambitions are failing in Ukraine, worse, he might be at the risk of losing presidency.
The war in Ukraine has stretched over two weeks. And while the Russian forces are slipping into a slow defeat, Vladimir Putin exhibits no sign of taking a step back. But the war might prove to be more deadly for him than it proves for Ukraine.
While Putin fuels arm operations in the sovereign nation, there is a war cooking against his reign back in his country. The fate of Ukraine is still vague but this war might cost Vladimir Putin his presidency.
Here is how.
How Can Putin Lose Presidency Due To Ukraine-Russia War?
The growing divide between Putin and Russians- made more stark with war
Russia has always been a tough ground to balance for Putin. And now, the war has multiplied the domestic instability.
For an autocrat like Vladimir Putin, the biggest challenge to his power were, first, the danger posed by opponent political forces and second, the public resentment. In the last two decades, Putin handled both to his effectiveness by different measures.
In the first decade of coming into the power, Putin won over Russians by bringing economic development to the nation. When the KGB spy became Russia’s president, the nation was struggling with economic downfall, massive corruption and rampant crime. Putin’s administration not only improved income and standard of living for people, but also restored law and order.
In the second decade of reign, Putin successfully wooed Russians through Crimea annexation. However, a multitude of factors started eroding Putin’s reputation since Crimea annexation. Increased corruption, slowed economic growth and poor handling of COVID-19 pandemic are some of the stark factors.
Military Forces- Putin’s Safe Haven But For How Long?
Whenever the political grip starts losening for Putin, military comes to his rescue. Whether the purpose is to curb domestic uprising against government or international dispute, military force have always been Putin’s right hand.
However, this reliance has often been called a dangerous bargain for Putin. The influence of these security forces can be witnessed in the foreign policies formulated by Putin. The most recent example is invaion of Ukraine which has been reported to be pushed by the high profile security officials of Russia.
Such expensive and deadly wars have been motivated by Putin’s security circle despite the warnings by economic experts and oligarchs of the country.
Therefore, the overdependence on the military is costing Russia economic stability and public unrest. And this might as well be the reason that Putin loses his presidency in the coming days.
Military Coup Against Putin- More Possible Than Ever
The overdependence on military reflects another threat for the Russian president.
Now that the defense forces know how much their commander in chief relies on them, the chances of a military coup against Putin are higher than ever.
Although, coups are more plausible in low-income nations or the ones that have a recent history of the same, Russia, however, is in extraordinary circumstances at present.
The chances of a coup increases manifold when there is mass public resentment against the leadership, exponential wartime deaths and war defeats.
Sounds a lot like Russia!
One of the strongest pillars of Putin’s rule are the wealthy Russian oligarchs. However, the war in Ukraine might have hurt them the most.
Sanctions from the Western countries are troubling the Russian billionaires. Take, for example, Alisher Usmanov, one of the Russia’s and world’s richest man — whose diverse holdings in multiple sector now stand threatened due to sanctions from EU, the UK and the US. This includes visa restrictions, frozen bank accounts and superyacht worth $600 million.
The economic consequences for the oligarchs have a high chance of increasing differences between Putin and the elites.