Putin is Doomed

From the conclusion to ‘Kicking the Kremlin’ by British journalist Marc Bennetts:

The protest movement has failed to bring Putin down, but there is a new vulnerability about the ‘national leader’. The Kremlin’s crackdown was not so much a sign of Putin’s strength, as a tacit admission that he felt threatened.

… Ominously for Putin, the amount of Russians who believe what they see and hear on television is falling fast … and even those who believe are starting to have their doubts. … Russia is changing, but Putin is not. ‘It’s a very difficult moment to pinpoint,’ said Gleb Pavlovsky, the ex-Kremlin political consultant. ‘But whenever the emotional connection with the people is gone, it’s gone forever.’

A generation has lived their entire adult lives with Putin as either president or prime minister. Familiarity has, inevitably, bred contempt. In the words of one former supporter, Putin’s ‘judo tricks no longer cut it.’ … Putin is increasingly a figure of fun. His message of stability is increasingly irrelevant to a generation that has little memory of the chaotic 1990s. For many Russians in their early to mid-twenties, Putin is simply, as one protestor described him to me, some ‘weird old man’ who has been in politics far too long.

‘He’s lost it completely,’ said Matvei Krylov, the young activists who left home at the age of fourteen to join the fight against Putin. ‘When you look at him, you can tell that he doesn’t want to be in power anymore.’ … Krylov laughed, his words a mixture of pity and contempt ‘But he’s trapped. He’s got nowhere to run.’

Published in February 2014.


35 thoughts on “Putin is Doomed”

  1. It is kind of funny when anecdotal references by a handful of voices are presented as indications for whatever the author likes to show. However, the more than handful sentiments against a “western” leader seems to be not so indicative of a negative trend.


    By the same “indicators” Biden is absolutely despised by a large number of US citizens – which is true, after all more than 70 million did not vote for him – or the sentiment against Merkel’s politics based on my facebook account is for the last three years at least completely negative based on my facebook acquaintances

    That one sees to be a truer picture, and I have no idea how much that real fake story about “Putin’s palace” will actually harm the credibility of the vaunted “Guiado Navalny”..

    Overall – the west should be rather wishing that Putin changeover will be less eventful as the planners of a Russian colour revolution.
    The sentiment in Russia – as I have read about several times – seems to go less towards pro “western style” democracy, but rather leans to more nationalist Government, even one that is heavily influenced by the military. The military seems when it comes to dealing with the despised oligarchs to be even more trusted than Putin.

    The Saker “There is plenty of evidence that the Russian people are getting fed-up with what they see is a rather weak, if not lame, attitude of Russian officials, especially against the constant flow of petty harassment measures against Russian interests. Folks in the West are never told this (after all, informing is not the mission of the corporate media), but the “patriotic” opposition to the Kremlin is much more dangerous than the hopelessly discredited pro-western “liberal” one (more about that below). The calls for a much more energetic “push-back” are now regularly heard, including from rather mainstream politicians.” (http://thesaker.is/with-biden-in-the-white-house-the-kremlin-now-needs-to-change-gear/)

    espouses similar opinions as Helmer:

    “the choice most Russians believe is the preferred alternative to Putin – that’s rule by a combination of officers and civilians acceptable to the military. In the past, the name for that was the Stavka.”


    1. BTW . after finishing my comment I realized that the post I commented on was from 2014.
      However, reading what little I read from MSM sources, not much in the attitudes towards Russia, from official Germany to the NATO shills in the UK and the USA, seems to have changed. The Spiegel who I have almost completely stopped reading is a fine example.


  2. Paul, sorry about this off-topic, but in view of your intelligence background, you appear uniqely qualified to comment on this developement:


    Commentary in English here:

    Why would it be a “state secret”? What kind of information would need to be protected from the Members of Bundestag?


    1. Should be interesting to compare the questions and related answers from the AfD (right, Alternative for Germany) and beyond. They already asked the goverment their questions on November 19.11.20, see link in Florian Rötzer’s article.


      General search results for Nawalny:


      The first listed document seems to repeat an answer to a question by die Linke (literally, the left);

      Russia apparently sent four requests for legal assistance, while the German government it feels operates within the more secret framework for biological weapons. But strictly The Left has a member, who is quite well versed in the field as former member of the US Sunhine project, or its Hamburg branch.

      Not sure if that helps though 😉


  3. Not overthinking anything: they keep a secret because their stories do not make sense?
    The only agency that mentioned traces of a specific agent is the Lab of the Bundeswehr in München.

    The lab test of the Charité reveals a lot of substances in Navalny’s blood, but no trace of a specific cholinesterase inhibitor. What was found in Navalny’s blood was a cocktail of drugs:

    and from Helmers article ( http://johnhelmer.net/berlin-doctors-report-on-navalny-case-reveals-new-evidence-raises-new-questions/ )
    “The specific substance involved remains unknown, and a further series of comprehensive testing has been initiated. The effect of the poison – namely, the inhibition of cholinesterase in the body – was confirmed by multiple tests in independent laboratories.”

    and further:

    “Responding to a request by Mats Nilsson, a Stockholm lawyer, the appeal court ruled that a multi-page report on Navalny’s blood sampling and testing by the Swedish Defence Research Agency (FOI) and communications interpreting Navalny’s blood contents between Swedish analysts, the German Defence Ministry, and other NATO officials, are state secrets. They cannot be released publicly, the court wrote Nilsson on January 14, because declassification and publication “will damage Sweden’s relationships with a foreign power”.
    ( http://johnhelmer.net/swedish-laboratory-stockholm-court-confirm-alexei-navalny-prepared-nato-secrets-adding-evidence-for-treason-indictment-in-russian-court/#more-45786 )

    As Sweden as engaged with other NATO states to damage Russia’s relations with the EU and the USA the “foreign power” can only mean a NATO member, and the one that is pushing to smear Putin and Russia is the USA with a specific goal to stop the NS2 pipeline. Should it become eventually clear that there was no “poisoning” of course the agencies involved (and is it not likely that the German secret service has more interests to damage the relation with Russia because of their close ties to US and British agencies than actually revealing truth to some replaceable German politicians?) would suffer at least some reputational the including the politicians that believed their stories.

    John Helmer is not one friendly to Putin and especially the oligarchs surrounding him, but he is actually trying to get to the truth of the actions claimed to be perpetrated by Russia under the leadership of president Putin, so I would call him – having followed his writings for a few years now – unbiased in those cases, maybe more biased when he attacks Putin and his indecisiveness and the members of the circle surrounding him.


    1. Agree with you on Helmer. I trust his objectivity because he is not pro-Putin, nor does he have a dog in the fight. He is anti-NATO, of course, but, well, isn’t every right-thinking person?


    2. This isn`t completely clear to me: still interesting:
      peter moritz: Should it become eventually clear that there was no “poisoning” of course the agencies involved (and is it not likely that the German secret service has more interests to damage the relation with Russia because of their close ties to US and British agencies than actually revealing truth to some replaceable German politicians?) would suffer at least some reputational [damage]the including the politicians that believed their stories.

      How should it eventually become clear and more importantly when to harm any specific politician’s chances to be reelected or advance within whatever system’s ladders? I seriously doubt his reputation could be harmed that way.

      First, I am no expert, impression no ‘deep’ knowledge:

      But as Lytt, may or may not feel, that may be the place/space where you enter something comparable to fiction, at least partially. In Germany the institution in place to control those services must be weak*. … As it necessarily to some extent democratic control institutions must be elsewhere:

      * based on a more general mental recollection of bits and pieces of the puzzle fitting into that category, not least a member of that “Gremium” who published a book.


      1. “How should it eventually become clear”

        I only hope that by chiselling away at the nonsense of a “poisoning”, the evidence thereof has for some unexplained reasons (and I doubt any serious explanation will ever come forward) been declared a state secret, the truth of the whole nonstory of someone – who with the drug load found in his system more likely poisoned himself – will eventually come out.
        And hopefully a little sooner than later as in the lie about Iraqi WMD’s, the lie about Ghaddafi intending to massacre jihadi rebels, the lie about the Douma gas attack, the lie about MH 17, the Scripal “incident” etc, and unlike the lies about the Golf of Tonkin or the coup against Mossadegh…
        The reputational damage to the Iraqi liars from Bush to Blair etc. was noticeable, some of the other lies could be maintained because of concerted effort to keep them alive despite contrary evidence, the still mouthed lie about “Russia gate” a fine example.

        One can only hope, but my comment was targeted more to who will benefit from secreting away the evidence – and its definitely not Russia, why would one hide documentary evidence that if confirming the German’s contention only could harm those who they wanted to harm with the Navalny charade in the first place? The conclusion remains : the “evidence doesn’t show what the various spokespersons claim that it shows.


      2. One can only hope, but my comment was targeted more to who will benefit from secreting away the evidence – and its definitely not Russia, why would one hide documentary evidence that if confirming the German’s contention only could harm those who they wanted to harm with the Navalny charade in the first place? The conclusion remains : the “evidence doesn’t show what the various spokespersons claim that it shows.

        Basically, see my answer to Lola above. It contains a lot of links thus it may take a little. (Sorry Paul).

        Besides, I didn’t notice much damage to Bush or Blair.

        Check Wikipedia’s: Rationale for the Iraq War article. And remember, Bush declared the Iraq war “mission accomplished” on May 1, 2003 and in 2004 successfully campaigned for reelection as a “strong wartime leader” versus his declared weakish “flip-flopping” opponent.


      3. Oh, one more thing, Peter. Nitwit Guesswork, top of my head: I assume the medical, biological responses to bioweapons cannot be studied on humans for tests. They are studied on victims only. There were rumors that German posses strains of the infamous Novichok agent too. They of course could have used animals to test responses to the agent, let’s say apes. But did they, if so what exactly were they testing? What were their methods? And what exactly did they sent to the relevant agency (OPCW)

        OPCW on events in Syria? Did the “public counterintelligence”/whistleblowers on events in Syria, or the controversies surrounding OPCW’s handling of events, there ever make it into the received knowledge of mainstream both politics and (fake news?) established media. …. ???

        Ok maybe some more questions. To what extent do “Western specialists” share methods, studies, results? What are they sending to OPCW? What is shared according to the rules to lets say with Russia …??? …?

        Would Scott Ritter be able to answer such questions? The late David Kelly? … Saddam Hussein didn’t like his inspection team, him especially.

        Exactly what bioweapons were found in Iraq post mission accomplished?

        Remember? What was the Anthrax scare about and how reliable was the US expertise considering whom the FBI hunted? Who was the perpetrator? The scientist that killed himself, like supposedly Kelly did?

        More generally, just as you, I don’t have the least idea what is going on, but I would love to read and record the minds of the possibly rare informed people over here. Ideally the experts in the Bundeswehr institution in Munich. And then have a cousin, a biologist, who once worked for Charité interpret or translate it for me.


  4. This is why journalists in my view should not be a protected group.

    Instead of reporting what is actually going on and seeking to put forward a clear analysis for the reader to understand; we get the conclusion first and they find someone to support that conclusion.

    There is no price for getting things wrong – it just contributes to yet more negative Russia stories.

    You find people here in Britain who have never been to Russia or even met a Russian ( as in Britain they are not here in large numbers at all). Having firm negative views about the people country and government.

    That is the media’s job to create this.

    The BBC /ITV /Sky here in the Britain do this all the time – not just about Russia but for every foreign news story. They are there to tell you what to think. (Syria reporting is particularly disgusting and biased with no nuance) .

    Going to the internet is not much better as the Tech giants have stopped the flow of information and we have paid (usually young and hip ) “influencers” and fake “alternative news sites” that merely repeat the mainstream narrative.

    Newspapers also have ceased carrying news. And they moderate and censor comments.

    Journalists take part in protests as activists – there to help shape a narrative.

    Look at the images of Hong Kong protesters and the number of people there as press /media in these yellow vests; they were an active part of the protests. They become a key component of attempts at colour revolutions.


    1. Case in point is the BBC’s Steve Rosenberg, sarcastically noting that Russians have a right to protest, during his coverage of Sunday’s occurrence, which included numerous reported arrests.

      Rosenberg omits the apparently accurate claim that Navalny and his entourage never go thru the proper channel to stage a protest. Specifically, making a request for formal approval to ensure security and other issues like trying to avoid a major traffic problem.

      The most recent edition of RT’s CrossTalk says that Navalny has been offered vast protest space in prime areas. It’s suggested that his refusal is on account of likely low turnout numbers getting highlighted – something that jives with the polling done on him.


      1. It makes better pictures to fight with the police and feed the narrative that they are being prevented from protesting.

        And the BBC ands others just repeat this like parrots.

        No one did anything to prevent the protests in Khabarovsk; as long as they behaved and no setting up tent cities like Ukraine.


    2. Reminded of the title of a recent Phil Giraldi article about “Managing the Narrative”.

      Two examples concerning the recent pro-Navalny protests come to mind. Is this a pro-government staged act (as some claim without knowing for sure), or some delusional soul, who thought he was doing the right thing?

      As a comparison, another instance appeared more staged. The BBC repeatedly showed a protestor being carried off by law enforcement personnel. As he was taken away, the protestor loudly screamed like he was having a tooth pulled without any sedative.

      The BBC Russia coverage duo of Steve Rosenberg and Sarah Rainsford carry a definite slant. Of the two, Rainsford seems the more propagandistic. Rosenberg has at times aired counter neocon-neolib views, whereas I’ve been more hard pressed to see as much an attempt of objectivity from Rainsford.


      1. However, some of the pampered bourgeois Navalnyites seem to be made of less sterner stuff!

        A tweet by:

        Голос Мордова

        Oh Lord! . . . Did the ambulance manage to get there in time?

        on this tweet by:

        Семён Еркин

        At the protest action my friend, fellow group member and student at VShE Albert Yapparov was brutally arrested.

        It may come as no surprise to many here that ВШЭ stands for Высшая школа экономики, which means the “Higher School of Economics”.

        If you check Yerkin out, you will find the following:

        Координатор волонтёров предвыборного штаба Любови Соболь // ВШЭ Политология ’23

        Coordinator of volunteers of the electoral headquarters of Lyubov Sobol // HSE Political Science ’23


  5. There is no penalty in the west for being gullible and stupid. If the fake-news media claimed that the moon was made of green cheese, people would shout “Of Course!” But when the bloviate has bad consequences – as in the virus and pandemic lies – then the scales begin to fall from eyes. How much pain has to be inflicted before illusions fail and resistance sets in? We approach that point. A turning point.


  6. Pahaha! What should one expect from someone who writes for the Guardian (integrity initiative project) and The Telegraph (right wing neoliberal billionaires daily) Although it looks like Marc has reshaped himself as a travel writer at the moment with the Telegraph, lets hope he has his finger on the pulse a bit better with that!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I have been reading articles such as this one since the nineties. Russia is finished, Putin is done for, new generation of Russians that don’t remember the horror of the nineties is growing up, protests will sweep the Kremlin. This absolutely uniformed and inane commentary on Russia is considered standard in Western press. I would say 90% of news about Russia is biased, fake and mendacious.


  8. i’ve been trying to think of something that symbolizes the NYT’s (and basically all US MSM) coverage of russia and i think this sums it up well:

    even if they get it wrong…even if they sound like twats…even if no one listens to them it’s just year after year of MYAAAAAAAH in your face until you will do ANYTHING to shut them up. it worked with the five years of “ORANGE MAN BADDD!” which drove a fair number of voters to biden in the vain hope it would shut the rachel maddows of the world up if even for a few seconds.


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