What would a regime change in Russia look like?
Most experts believe that a regime change in Russia is not even within the realm of possibility. That creates a very serious conundrum. The west cannot defeat Vladimir Putin in Ukraine without removing him from office – and he cannot be removed from office. Or can he?
There is one scenario that IS possible, but it may not produce good results.
There are an increasing number of reports that Putin is a very sick man. According to insiders he suffers from both Parkinson’s Disease and abdominal cancer that requires serious surgery. According to the rumors, the surgery will be performed sometime after Russia’s May 9th Victory Day celebration.
Since this is Russia, an official announcement can often vary from the real situation. The official view is that Putin will be under anesthesia for a couple of hours. During that time, Security boss Nikolai Patrushev will keep watch in the Kremlin.
But will Putin survive the surgery? Based on the diagnosis of his condition and his age, the odds are in his favor. But we are talking about Russia, where intrigue and political assassinations are the mainstays of political life. What if this is a golden opportunity for a palace coup? What if there are people around Putin who would want him dead.
This is not the first time that a Russian despot was done in by his “friends.” It was officially reported that Joseph Stalin died of a stroke. It was later revealed that the “stroke” was the result of a poison administered by the head of the KGB, Lavrentiy Beria – who was on Stalin’s execution list. The murder gains some credibility since no doctors were summoned when Stalin fell seriously ill. There are also other theories.
But taking Putin out of power – one way or the other – does not guarantee positive results. Remember that guy I mentioned above — Nikolai Patrushev? (pictured above with Putin) Most folks will never have heard of him – even people who follow Russia from a distance. But those who know him do not say nice things about him.
First, we must understand that Patrushev is head of the Security Council of Russia. Rising through the ranks, Patrushev is a trained killer – one-on-one or mass murder. He has a heartless disregard for human life. He rose in the ranks of Russia’s “murder inc.” at the same time as Putin was rising in the old KGB.
Many allege that Patrushev is even more ruthless and more obsessed than Putin. He was one of the principals that has pushed for the invasion of Ukraine. It is even claimed that it is Patrushev who has been feeding Putin all those stories about Nazis in Ukraine – and Russian-speaking people being oppressed.
Of course, all of this is just rumors and conspiracy theories – and yet not entirely out of the realm of possibility. So, what if Putin’s surgery is successful and he returns to his office in the Kremlin? And what if the West’s mission creep in Ukraine fails to defeat Putin? And what if the only way left to win the war in Ukraine requires that Putin be removed? What then?
That is when war with Russia itself may be the only option left? Perhaps the only way to avoid a real war between NATO and Russia would be a credible – repeat credible – threat of such a war. Turn the tables on Putin. Intimidate him. Call his bluff. That just might motivate those closest to Putin to see the wisdom of his removal from office – which, in the Russian tradition, would mean death.
This three-part series began with the argument that war with Russia may be the only way to stop his aggressive plans. If the tide of battle moves against Ukraine – and all the current mission creep has failed – what should the West do? I would like to hear from readers on that point.
So, there ‘tis.