Will the Putin era soon be over?

Whether it is due to health reasons, an imminent revolution or a lack of success in the war against Ukraine, Putin's imminent departure is being discussed as a real possibility for 2023 in certain circles. Europe's press also examines the question of whether the Russian president's seemingly eternal rule could soon end.

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Moise.ro (RO) /

Left without options

Putin is at an impasse, writes Moise Guran in his blog:

“I believe that the war in Ukraine could end this year, either with a defeat of the Russian army on the battlefield or its collapse, followed in all likelihood by a power struggle in the Kremlin. ... If Putin launches another mobilisation, it will accelerate the army's collapse. If he doesn't, he will suffer a tactical defeat in the face of the inevitable Ukrainian offensive.”

iStories (RU) /

Impending slugfest for orphaned power

Newssite iStories sees a period of turmoil approaching:

“All these years Vladimir Putin has acted as a kind of arbiter in the conflicts of his cronies. He ensured a shaky balance of power between hostile groups for whom one thing was clear: when he steps down, the balance will tip and a war of all against all will break out. ... The closer Putin's end comes - whether politically or physically - the more likely it is that the various clans' numerous cold wars for power will turn into hot ones. ... Putin has robbed himself and the state of their monopoly on violence. Today, in addition to the army and law enforcement agencies, all manner of Wagnerites, Kadyrovites and other mercenary groups use violence as they please.”

Slate (FR) /

It would take a group of conspirators

The possibility of Putin being overthrown cannot be ruled out, columnist Fred Kaplan writes in Slate:

“Like other authoritarian rulers, Putin is good at crushing his opponents before they become his rivals. If six officers were to stage a putsch, they would all have to be convinced that none of the other five would betray them. If there is even the slightest chance of overthrowing Putin, this is probably the only way it can be done. However, such things only happen very suddenly. The conspiracy could be in the making as I write these lines, and no one will hear about the Night of the Long Knives until it is over.”

Deutsche Welle (BG) /

Still no sign of revolt

An estimated 110,000 Russian troops have already died in the Ukraine war, writes Deutsche Welle's Bulgarian service, and ponders:

“That's eight times as many dead soldiers as in ten years of the Afghan War [1979-1989] and twice as many as in 12 years of the Vietnam War. Every Russian family now knows at least one other family that has lost a son or husband in Ukraine. How much death can this society take? Apparently, over 100,000 dead soldiers make no impression on them. Will it be the same with 500,000 soldiers? With a million? With three million?”