Is the Kremlin Already Searching for a Vladimir Putin Replacement?

Is the Kremlin Already Searching for a Vladimir Putin Replacement?

( – When countries end up in a shooting war with one another, they also engage in propaganda to bring as many people around to their way of thinking as possible, sometimes leaking the truth before their opponent would like it to become public. When Russian President Vladimir Putin sent his military into Ukraine just over a year ago, his actions not only expanded the war but fed propaganda mills, which has led to a recent statement by one of Kyiv’s officials that a major shakeup could be looming.

See Ya Later Vlad

Andriy Yusov, who is a spokesperson for the Ukrainian military intelligence directorate, was being interviewed on television when he made the claim that there is a search on to find Putin’s replacement to lead Russia. His words evoked the image of a noose tightening around the Kremlin leader’s neck as he becomes “more and more toxic.”

Although Yusov did not name names, in January and February of this year, reports began to circulate that the leader of the Wagner Group — a band of mercenaries sometimes called “Putin’s private army” — may be maneuvering to become Russia’s next leader. Yevgeny Prigozhin, who is sometimes mockingly called “Putin’s Chef” because the oligarch built his empire on restaurants and catering businesses, has reportedly been building a name for himself in the political realm.

According to an opinion piece written in the Kyiv Post by longtime political advisor in countries around the world, Jason Jay Smart, PhD, Prigozhin may be setting himself up to lead a bloody coup against his political ally, Putin. He has been very vocal in letting people know his poor opinion of the way Russian Minister of Defense Sergi Shoigu has been guiding the battle in Ukraine, though Smart did warn that a coup could destabilize the country and actually increase the risk of nuclear weapons being used.

Vlad Behind Bars?

Another recent development is the arrest warrant issued for Putin by the International Criminal Court (ICC) and prosecutor Karin A. A. Khan. He alleges the Russian president, along with his Commissioner for Children’s Rights, Maria Lvova-Belova, have worked together in “the unlawful deportation and transfer of Ukrainian children,” who are then adopted out to Russian families.

According to a report from the Yale Human Rights Lab published on February 14, more than 6,000 Ukrainian children have been sent to one of 43 reeducation camps with the intent to instill pro-Russian attitudes in them. They claim that these camps are spread from the Black Sea area across the country, with two of them in Siberia and roughly one-quarter of them located more than 500 miles from the Ukrainian border.

However, the effect the arrest warrant will have, if any, is unclear since Russia is not a signatory to the Rome Statute that established the ICC. Interestingly, neither is the United States. In what could be seen as a retaliatory move, the Russian state Investigative Committee announced it has opened a criminal case against the prosecutor and judges of the ICC, alleging misconduct because they have made these accusations against people they know are innocent of any crime.

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