It was reported on Saturday that Vladimir Putin fired the Deputy Defense Minister for Logistics, leading to speculation that the Russian president is taking proactive measures to stop any attempts to oust him from power.
On Saturday, Putin fired Colonel-General Mikhail Mizintsev, the infamous “Butcher of Mariupol” and one of his top military commanders. RadarOnline reported that in recent weeks, Mizinsev had been cut out of Putin’s inner circle, suggesting that the move may have been motivated by Putin’s increasing concerns that some in the Kremlin may be plotting a coup to remove him.
In a column at 19FortyFive, writer Jack Buckby suggests that Putin’s fear of a possible coup attempt may not be without merit.
Buckby notes that earlier this year, Putin’s former speechwriter Abbas Gallyamov told CNN that with the deteriorating Russian economy and the war in Ukraine not going as planned, the Russian people will see more bodies of dead soldiers returning home and may start looking for someone to blame. Galllyamov suggested that they may point the finger at President Putin.
He said as more Russian people come to that realization, it “will become possible” that the military decides to remove Putin from office.
According to Buckby, Russia has a great deal on the line right now between the war and its struggling economy. This only increases the chance that Kremlin officials are starting to consider moving forward without Vladimir Putin.
Buckby notes that it is very likely that Putin is aware of plots to oust him from power which is why he has been taking steps to ensure that any such attempts would be difficult.
He notes that such steps include removing over one hundred agents from the Federal Security Bureau (FSB) in the spring of 2022 and placing the former head of the Russian Fifth Service under house arrest to send a “very strong message” to the Russian officials who opposed the war in Ukraine.