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What are the chances of the Ukraine invasion leading to Vladimir Putin being toppled from within?

The system of power the Russian president has built is unlikely to survive if he departs – and may simply fall apart, argues Nikolai Petrov

Wednesday 06 April 2022 11:06 BST
Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Putin (Reuters)

Although it is impossible to predict whether a political coup will take place in Russia, we can look at how the system Vladimir Putin has built works and assess the possibilities of change for the better.

In this system there are no figures at the top who are capable of acting independently against the will of Putin – the Russian president does not – and has never had – a “first” deputy, only several equal ones. Each of whom is responsible for his or her own clearly defined area of activity. The resources that each of them has at their disposal are not enough for independent action without Putin’s direct approval. It is extremely unlikely that any members of the elite could create a coalition that could take action in the system Putin has created.

The same aspects of the system that led to the launch – and the failure – of Putin’s war in Ukraine, elements of individual power which are disconnected and are not independent, reduces the risk of Putin being toppled from within.

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