Russian military chiefs are losing patience with Putin and could soon turn on him in a coup, former aide predicts
- Putin is losing his reputation as a strong leader, a former speechwriter said Thursday.
- Abbas Gallyamov said that military generals are increasingly disappointed in the losses in Ukraine.
A military coup in Russia is likely as President Vladimir Putin begins to look like a “second-rate dictator,” a former aide said Thursday.
In an op-ed in the Russian publication We Can Explain, Abbas Gallyamov wrote that Russian military generals are becoming increasingly frustrated that their troops continue to suffer defeats on the Ukrainian front.
Gallyamov is a political consultant and former speechwriter for Putin. He has not worked for Putin since 2010 and has been living in exile in Israel since 2018.
“You need to understand that the vast majority of commanders in the army of an authoritarian country are not staunch supporters of power, but ordinary opportunists,” Gallyamov wrote in the column, according to The Daily Mail translation. The beast.
“As problems accumulate in the country and in the army that the authorities are unable to solve, Putin is increasingly confidently transforming in the eyes of the people from a great strategist into an ordinary, second-rate dictator,” he said.
He predicted that commanders would fight on the side of whoever was most likely to win.
Gallyamov also argued that the problems on the battlefield are creating disagreements between the Russian military leadership, in particular with the founder of the Wagner Group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, whose troops are fighting alongside the Russian army in Ukraine.
“Prigozhin, with his rhetoric, completely discredited the regime in the eyes of the military, and anger at the authorities for allowing the criminal to walk on them is growing stronger,” Gallyamov said.
“The longer the war drags on, the clearer its senselessness becomes,” he added.
Recent reports from the front line show that some soldiers refuse to fight in the war, and in some more extreme cases even kill their own commanders.
Ukrainian officials said this week that more than 6,500 Russian soldiers have tried to surrender through an “I want to live” hotline they opened in September, reports The Guardian.
Despite this, Putin’s grip appears to remain solid, former Western diplomats and government officials told Reuters in October.
Recent reports also indicate that the Russian president is at war for the long haul and is preparing for a new offensive in the spring.
Gallyamov first worked on the Putin speech writing team from 2000 to 2001 and again from 2008 to 2010.
Since the start of Putin’s invasion last year, Gallyamov has commented regularly on the state of the war and Russian politics in general.
Last month, a former speechwriter cited unnamed sources as saying that Putin probably already has an escape plan in place in case he loses the war in Ukraine.
A Kremlin spokesman did not immediately respond to an Insider request for comment.