Bloomberg: Russian elite souring on Putin’s chances of winning his war

    REGION  08 June 2023 - 19:22

    Many members of Russia's elite are growing doubtful about the ability of their president, Vladimir Putin, to win the war in Ukraine.
     
    The best they can hope for is a "frozen" conflict or a loss in which Russia isn't humiliated, the report said.
     
    Despite this deepening gloom, Putin shows no sign of wishing to end the war, according to Bloomberg.
     
    The outlet cited seven people with knowledge of the situation who asked not to be identified given the seriousness of the issues. 
     
    It said that many in the upper echelons of Russian politics and business are tired of the war and want it to end.
    Five sources told Bloomberg that while no one is willing to "stand up" to Putin over the invasion, belief in his authority has been shaken.
     
    "It is really surprising how widespread among the Russian elite became the idea of a chance that Putin won't win this war," Kirill Rogov, a former Russian government advisor who left the country after the invasion, told Bloomberg. 
     
    It is unclear what a victory would look like for Russia, but two sources told Bloomberg they hoped Putin would try and claim a "Pyrrhic victory" on the basis of land in Ukraine that Russia already occupies. 
     
    Alexandra Prokopenko, a former Russian journalist and central bank advisor, told Bloomberg that "'the best they hope for is that Russia will lose without humiliation." 
     
    Many in Russia's business and economic elite were targeted by Western sanctions after Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. However, according to a paper in April by the think tank The Wilson Center, Russia's elite show no sign yet of moving to oppose Putin's rule, despite the punishing cost of their loyalty to the Russian president.
     
    "It is evident that the wealthiest individuals in Russia, who amassed their fortunes through the collaboration and support of the government, are unwilling or unable to oppose Putin despite their considerable wealth, connections, and resources," the report said. 
     
    Experts have told Insider that a challenge to Putin's power would most likely come if Russia were to lose the war and its forces were driven out of Ukraine. 
     
    Russia had initially expected a swift victory in Ukraine, but the war has become a protracted stalemate which has come at a huge cost to Russia's military and economy.
     
    Russia currently occupies large swaths of territory in east and south Ukraine. The Ukrainian military is seeking to drive Russian troops back in a much-anticipated counter-offensive this summer. 

    Caliber.Az

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