A source who was close to Putin once claimed that "the president will nominate his chosen heir already this year, instead of risking his downfall," the British Daily Mail reported on Friday. This comes after the Russian president's popularity is reportedly in a freefall because of repeated military failures in the war in Ukraine.
According to his former ally, Putin will want to transfer the power to his chosen successor and retire to his palace near the black sea, rather than risk a coup against him, similar to what happened to Qaddafi and other dictators.
Furthermore, he claimed Putin will seek to give up power, negotiate an end to the war in Ukraine and also not be part of the elections which are planned for 2024.
He said, "the Russian despot will probably nominate one of his loyalists like the mayor of Moscow Sergey Sobyanin, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin or his deputy Chief of Staff Dimitry Kuzak."
Putin is scared
Putin got flustered by the rise of Yevgeny Prigozhin, one of the owners of the Wagner mercenary group. Since the start of the war, Prigozhin has been fighting for more power and resources, which shows his desire to push Putin to the side.
The source said that "Putin's whole apparatus is looking wearily at Prigozhin and is scared he will come after them." He added that "Putin really might not be reelected if he will stand again. He would try to fake the outcome, but this is too much of a risk for the system. He may appoint a trusted person as president, if they could win the elections. Still, the will also have to negotiate will Ukraine and the West."
Discontent is rising
Earlier this month, British military experts estimated that Putin might have a revolution on his hands in the next two months, if he can't change the situation in Ukraine for the better.
"The Russians are trying to wear down the Ukrainian's will to resist by shelling Ukrainian cities and killing Ukrainian soldiers in large numbers," noted one senior expert, "now it's really up to the Ukrainians to continue attacking the Russians and kill as many Russians as possible to deplete their forces as well. So in a sense we are in a kind of war of attrition that could develop potentially, from one side or the other."
"Putin is quite concerned about the impact of large-scale casualties on cities like Moscow and St. Petersburg, and that's why he's focused a huge amount of time on recruiting from some of the peripheral areas like Siberia," he added, "We've seen unprecedented civil protest movements happening in some of these peripheral areas. They're not getting much attention because the media in Russia hardly covers it."