Vladimir Putin might be facing a military coup within the next year, fueled by the state of the economy and the unpopularity of the war in Ukraine, a former speechwriter for the Russian president said.
Abbas Gallyamov, a political commentator who worked previously as Putin's speechwriter, told CNN the Russian president could soon be swept away by a rising tide of opposition to the war.
"The Russian economy is deteriorating," Gallyamov said. "The war is lost. There are more and more dead bodies returning to Russia, so Russians will be coming across more difficulties and they’ll be trying to find explanation why this is happening, looking around to the political process and they’ll be answering themselves: 'Well, this is because our country is governed by an old tyrant, an old dictator.'"
"A military coup will become possible" as Russians come to grips with this reality, Gallyamov claimed.
"So in one year when the political situation changes and there’s a really hated unpopular president at the head of the country and the war is really unpopular, and they need to shed blood for this, at this moment, a coup becomes a real possibility."
While Russia is slated to hold a presidential election in 2024, Gallyamov said he thinks Putin may cancel the elections if the war does not end favorably for him.
"Judging by his actions, when he is escalating on something without necessity, he might really cancel the elections," Gallyamov said. "Without victory over Ukraine, he'll face difficulty with the Russians. Russians don't need him if he's not strong. He might really declare the martial law and cancel the elections."
Geopolitical strategist Alp Sevimlisoy warned earlier this month that the faltering war in Ukraine has become a liability for Putin, as many within the Kremlin are eager to replace the Russian president.
According to Benzinga, Sevimlisoy said coups are developing within the government and are bent on removing Putin from power.
In a sign that the Ukraine campaign may be faltering, Russia has named a new commander for its military forces for the second time in just three months.
Western allies have recently galvanized their support for Ukraine, with the United States and Germany both pledging to send tanks to the embattled country.
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