Analysis: Is a palace coup under way in Moscow?

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s absence from the public eye for over a week has generated a raft of creative conspiracy theories on the internet. But it is time to examine seriously the possibility that a change of power is under way in Moscow. Below is an interesting scenario proposed by a Ukrainian political analyst, Pavlo Praviy, writing in the Nova Ukraina publication, suggesting that veterans of the Soviet and Russian security services may be actively attempting to implement a peaceful transfer of power in the Kremlin…

Pavlo Praviy: Primakov’s ultimatum in action?

13.03.2015 22:43:00. Suspіlstvo

And so, the disappearance of Putin from political radar screens: what does this mean and how does it threaten all of us? If you don’t pay too much attention to the fantastic versions of his death, which the dictator’s inner circle is hiding, or the military coup, there are several more-or-less realistic scenarios. Without claiming to be the ultimate truth, I suggest one of these.

It is possible that a peaceful political revolution is now in the making in Russia, something like the story of Boris Yeltsin’s resignation. The President is tired, he’s sick, and has voluntarily gone on vacation, moving from the Kremlin to the palace complex in Gelendzhik. What evidence is there to support this version? None. However, let’s not forget the performance of Yevgeny Primakov on January 13th, 2015 in the elite ‘Mercury Club,’ where he criticized Putin’s policies root and branch.

Primakov unambiguously came out in support of the Donbas as part of Ukraine, against the isolation of Russia, and in favor of developing a real economy and exiting the position of ‘world gas station.’ Primakov also recognized the fact that Russia now has a huge problem with anti-Semitism, chauvinism and neo-Nazism.

Putin once described himself and Medvedev as ‘nationalists in the best sense of the word.’ And here, Primakov punched Vladimir Vladimirovich [Putin]:

‘Of particular importance is the distinction between nationalism and patriotism. Nationalism is not limited to the protection of the cultural and historical features of this nation, and the need to defend its interests. This would be acceptable if the essence of nationalism did not consist of opposition to other nations, upon which nationalists usually look down.’

What do you mean? Mr. Primakov explained:

‘… There is no reason to consider the readiness of the executive branch to offer a reasonable project, based on specifically planned actions, for the reorientation of the country toward diversification of its economy and its growth on this basis…’

Primakov (right) with Henry Kissinger

Primakov (right) with Henry Kissinger

And all of this would have amounted to nothing – well, some academic of the Russian Academy of Sciences has criticized the regime… But there are two things.

Firstly, the ‘Mercury Club’ is not some kind of eatery, even elite, where politicians and nouveau riche pump French cognac. This is the World Trade Center, which unites the state’s political and economic elite. And Yevgeny Primakov is the president of the club.

Sergei Stepashin (Photo: Sergey Grachev / The St/ Petersburg Times)

Sergei Stepashin (Photo: Sergey Grachev / The St. Petersburg Times)

Secondly, and what is most important – Yevgeny Maximovich Primakov is not simply an academician. He is a rank-and-file ‘Chekist’ [agent of the security services – Ed.]. And not just a rank-and-file ‘Chekist’ – but the patriarch and de facto leader of the old KGB nomenklatura. If a reader asks himself another question: who brought this greyness to power, then please get acquainted – one of those who stands behind the scenes of Putin’s power is Pan Yevgeny [‘Pan’ a title in Polish and Ukrainian meaning, roughly, ‘Mr.’ – Ed.] Yevgeny. The second of them is Sergei Stepashin [also a former prime minister and head of the security services – Ed.]. It is they, among others, who gave Putin power, and who can take it back any time.

In fact, the performance of Yevgeny Primakov (be sure to see the full version of it) was an ultimatum to Vladimir Vladimirovich [Putin]. Judging by [Putin’s] subsequent actions, he either did not accept this ultimatum or else did not pay any attention to at all (which is a little hard to believe, because he’d have had to be a cretin bearing a stamp of quality), and for this, apparently, he would have to pay.

What is interesting is that from the time of the announcement of Yevgeny Primakov’s speech in the ‘Mercury Club’ to Putin’s mysterious disappearance from TV and the wave of fantastic rumors about it, exactly two months have passed. If we consider early next weekend – March 14, 2015 [the Ides of March! – Ed.] – as the finish line, at which point some global events in Russian politics will be announced – it is 60 days. Or nights.

And now: attention. Let’s see what’s happened during the time that Putin has not been shining on the political radar:

– Ukrainian doctors have been allowed to see Nadezhda Savchenko (for the first time!);

– ‘Novorossia,’ the ‘Donetsk People’s Republic’ and ‘Lugansk People’s Republic’ have suddenly disappeared from state television, to be replaced by ‘Lugansk and Donetsk regions’;

– A ‘purge’ of the cohort of ‘irreconcilable’ field commanders in the area of the ATO [Anti-Terrorist Operation]: Mozgovoy, Pavlov-Motorola has taken place;

Pro-Russian separatist rebel leader Aleksey Mozgovoy (Photo: Maria Terechenkova)

Pro-Russian separatist rebel leader Aleksey Mozgovoy (Photo: Maria Terechenkova)

– Separatist groups in the Donbas have come to be known as ‘gangs’ by Russian media groups;

– Two (!) additional humanitarian convoys have been urgently sent to the Donbas. This time, the humanitarian convoy may not be in ‘quotation marks,’ because it is hoped that there will finally be humanitarian aid in it. But time is necessary to form these ‘unexpected additional’ humanitarian convoys…

Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu (left) with Putin

Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu (left) with Putin

And here’s another interesting ‘coincidence’: just when Putin disappeared from the radar (March 10), someone sent Defense Minister [Sergey] Shoygu and Minister of Internal Affairs [Vladimir] Kolokoltsev to Crimea, leading a huge delegation of heads of law enforcement agencies (as many as 40 people), thus removing them from the cartridge clip.


‘According to a source in the press service of the President of Russia, a major announcement is being prepared in the near future, and for this reason, the heads of relevant media have been asked to be ready in the next few days for a possible press conference.’

It is therefore likely we can now watch the last waning days of political star V. V. Putin. The backstage players can leave him in a chair, beat down ‘his’ people (in this case, Medvedev’s government will be dissolved and Putin’s security chiefs fired), or maybe send him into honorable retirement – to nurse Kabaeva’s newborn child. [Alina Kabaeva is the former Olympic gymnast who is Putin’s young mistress and rumored to have given birth to his child. – Ed.] They may even contribute (as an extreme variant) to his death ‘from a cold.’

Wait and see. It is clear that from the point of view of common sense, the Russian political and economic elite must end the war in the Donbas – and ‘not pull’ Russian into an arms race against the United States, China and the EU, as opposed to participating in it (Putin has spoken of how troubled he is by such a scenario) – ‘like death.’ The people involved in the regime may not even understand this. But it’s common sense…

And it may happen that these are my thoughts are not even worth the price of the three sheets of paper on which they could be printed. In fact, I recently wrote (see here) that Putin and his offspring in Russia have raised a few million, not just nationalists, but Nazis, for whom he is already not a strict enough Führer for the ‘enemies of the Rus Nation.’ Then Piontkovsky – who says that in Moscow right now the ‘party of a lot of blood’ is breaking – is right. [Andrey Piontkovsky is a Russian scientist and political writer – Ed.]

Then God save us all.

And the whole world together with Ukraine…

But I’m an optimist by nature, in what I wish for you, my friends.

Together – we will win!

Pavlo Praviy

Pavlo Praviy

Pavlo Praviy

Павло Правый: Ультиматум Примакова в действии?

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