Sunday, February 5, 2012

Will Putin Survive?

Nouriel Roubini, who was just in Moscow tweets and sends along this pic:
Banner on rooftop facing the Kremlin with Putin's image crossed with an X. It says: "Putin,Go Away 

Roubini also tweeted:
View from meetings in Moscow: Putin will win in the 2nd round but his power will be diminished &, if grudgingly, he will pursue some reforms

And here's an analyst on how things might develop if things get really ugly:
Russia’s size could become a liability for the protesters if things come to a head and, say, Putin refuses to accept a defeat in the March election. While there have been regular protests in cities from Stravropol in the south to Khabarovsk in the Far East, only Moscow and Saint Petersburg have seen true mass demonstrations. As in Serbia in 2000 or Ukraine in 2004, where demonstrations played out mainly in the capital cities, Russia’s metropolises have long been hotbeds of dissent. Unlike Serbia and Ukraine, however, provincial protesters would be unable to come to the rescue in case of a showdown.

In the Philippines in 1986, Ferdinand Marcos’s tanks were stopped by nuns and small children. In the fall of 1989, East German soldiers joined their fellow citizens in the protests that brought down the Berlin Wall. But, during the same year in China, protesters in Beijing were crushed by troops from Inner Mongolia who didn’t understand Mandarin and had no sympathy for big-city dwellers.

While army units or riot squads (OMON) stationed in Moscow are too disgruntled by the recent police and military reforms to participate in a bloody clampdown, special-operations forces from the provinces, staffed with veterans of the Chechen war, might cherish the excitement of sticking it to the Moscow fat cats. Likewise, army officers from poorer regions are more grateful for the salary hike that Putin’s United Russia party announced, with much fanfare, shortly before the recent Duma election.

But, while some parts of the security apparatus might support an initial crackdown, violent repression would be difficult to sustain. That means that Putin would be well advised to heed the protesters’ demands and call new and fair parliamentary elections. If he opts for violent confrontation, the short-term outcome will be decided by the loyalty of the armed forces.


  1. "protesters in Beijing were crushed by troops from Inner Mongolia who didn’t understand Mandarin"

    Wow! I've heard some counter factual statements in my life, but wow!
    Just because the soldiers were brought in from the Inner Mongolian Military Region does not mean that A) the troops were ethnic Mongolians, or B) Ethnic Mongolians don't speak Mandarin. The army had been a major vehicle since 1949 for language unification in China. Units are not ethnically segregated, and Mandarin is the only language used in PLA operations. Mongols are also a vanishingly small minority within PLA ranks. If they had brought in monolingual Mongolians in 1989 they would not have had enough troops to even surround the square.

  2. Our elections and government are a total joke here in the US and nobody seems to mind. So somebody hung up a banner across from the Kremlin. We've had Occupy protestors in DC for months.

    There's obviously a concerted effort by outside forces to induce a "colour revolution" in Russia. The police/army understand that the outcome of any revolution in Russia will be a takeover by Soros and the CIA.

    All this "analysis" by Western Establishment mouthpieces is just wishful thinking. Russia is far more stable and sustainable than the US, they have resources to spare and little debt. Obama would trade public approval ratings with Putin in a heartbeat.

  3. Just a thought:
    The second and third strongest parties in the last Russian elections where the Communist Party and the Liberal Democratic party (which is actually national socialist).

    It seems the people already sporting a wet spot in their pants when thinking about replacing Putin have absolutley no clue what would replace him.