“People are shitty and scared around him, but it’s fear without respect”. Putin is 70 years old. Medusa’s sources say his “vertical power” is “collapsed.”

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Talk To Andrei Pertsev. translator Sam Breazeal.

On October 7th, Vladimir Putin turned 70. He’s been in power for almost a third of his life, but clearly has no intention of relinquishing his power. Meanwhile, the “stability” he once offered Russians in exchange for rights and freedoms has long since disappeared. It was Putin who decided to start a war of aggression in Ukraine, and it was Putin who refused to end it. loseAs the war enters its eighth month, Medusa correspondent Andrei Pertsev told sources close to various parts of the Russian government about how the president’s men now view him.

October 4, Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov announced Vladimir Putin’s 70th birthday will be celebrated widely in Chechnya. According to him, festivities include:

  • A horse race dedicated to Putin
  • Grand opening of Olympic Judo training center named after Putin
  • motorcycle and bicycle racing
  • auto racing championship
  • Announcement of new government building construction plan

Kadyrov’s announcement ended with a sentimental note:

All Russians are very lucky to have this president. Vladimir Vladimirovich is the greatest patriot in our country. It’s not an exaggeration. No one cares about our motherland more than Vladimir Putin.

his last addressLNR, DNR, Kherson and Zaporizhia regions were signed into Russia, love literally permeated the entire speech of the president.

In most other parts of Russia, celebrations are much smaller. Sources close to Putin’s regime and his three sources from the leaders of his three regions in Russia say the Kremlin has issued no instructions on how to mark the president’s birthday. told Medusa.

mobilization efforts

“After opening, Ferris wheel [in Moscow]it quickly became clear that now is not the time to hold a celebration — now is not the time. [winter] holiday celebrations; no one has extra money; We went without a Christmas tree during COVID, but we can do it again,” said a source close to the Kremlin.

A Russian federal source called the decision to forego Putin’s birthday celebrations a “wise idea”, adding: “Why would you want to emphasize that our president has been a pensioner for so long? Is it?” he said.

“There’s another trash can fire every 48 hours.”

“People are shit scared around him. But it’s fear without respect. They’re not respectful.” [for Putin] A source close to the Russian government told Medusa. Two other sources close to him and one of his sources close to the Kremlin gave similar accounts of the mood in Moscow.

Sentiment towards Putin among the Russian elite soured after Putin’s decision, according to sources. enhance National pension age in 2018 — a move opposed by the majority of Russians. Officially, the cabinet was renewed in 2020 when Mikhail Mishustin replaced Dmitry Medvedev as prime minister, but long before that, many middle-level government officials took up the positions. I was there. They still remember Putin passing the blame for the consequences of his pension reform onto his ministers. “When does a person [in the government] They still flinch when they hear the word ‘rating,'” a source close to the government told Medusa.

In recent years, the situation has taken a turn for the worse. According to Medusa sources, Putin has gradually stopped warning his ministers about both short-term and long-term plans.

“Until recently, [ministers] At the very least, it serves as a Google of sorts for the president. He said aloud a likely scenario and asked, “What if I did this?” What will be the result? And what if I do it this way? Then what? ‘But it was stopped,’ said a source close to the government.

According to sources, after the start of the pandemic, Putin (who Are known (to obsessively worry about his health) completely stopped consulting cabinet ministers and limited his decision-making process to brief discussions with his “inner circle”. I believed mainly composed of heads of Russian security services).

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“[Since the start of the pandemic,] Things kept popping into my head without any warning,” a source told Medusa. An example of that, he said, was the early pandemic.Support measuresUltimately, it provided a lot of fodder for Russian memes. .

“The president is responsible for declaring things [like that] No warning. A grand gesture, so to speak.and feverish search [for money to pay for the measures] It begins,” a senior official told Medusa.

According to him, until a few years ago, Putin’s process was almost the exact opposite. First, I listened to suggestions from various government agencies and then chose what I thought was the best fit.

At the same time, according to sources close to the government, ministers will not dare to push back even the most “unexpected” decisions of Putin. Because they fear the consequences. “when [former Economic Development Minister Alexey] Ulyukaev is arrestedeveryone got the message,” one source said.

Other sources close to the government added that this fear, combined with Putin’s reluctance to hear about the issue from his subordinates, has led officials to heavily embellish the facts in their reports to the president. For example, few, if any, were willing to talk to him about Western sanctions or the true consequences of the Russian economy.

“There is another dumpster fire every 48 hours and no one really understands what is going on. I don’t know about that,” a source close to the Kremlin told Medusa.

“He doesn’t know how to lose”

These problems have only gotten worse since Russia launched a full-scale war against Ukraine.As Medusa had before report, even many senior Russian officials knew nothing about Putin’s invasion plans until the last moment. Moreover, according to sources, since February 24, Putin has lost interest in “peace issues” and his “inner circle” has become even smaller. Now, sources tell Medusa that only elected members of the Security Council can influence the president’s decisions even slightly. At the time of this article’s publication, Russian Presidential Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov did not answer Medusa’s questions.

“Few people are probably happy with Putin. Businessmen and many ministers are unhappy that the president started this war without considering the scale of the sanctions. “A normal life under the ground is impossible. The ‘hawks’ are angry at the pace. They think more decisive action is possible,” a source close to the Kremlin said on May 5, 2022. Described the mood of the Russian elite on the moon.

Months later, little has changed. At the same time, as Russia’s situation on the battlefield became more and more dire, Putin’s position leaned more and more towards Russia’s position. hawks Meanwhile, peace advocates within government are becoming more pessimistic.

Prepare for disaster

A source close to the Russian government told Medusa that the cabinet’s to-do list was only growing.

The conscription also brought new difficulties to the government of the presidential office. It is clear to Kremlin officials that the forced mobilization of 100,000 Russians into the war had an immediate negative impact on the president’s approval ratings, according to sources close to Brock (open data even, 6 percent drop). “When [now] They are asking us why it has decreased and how to increase it.

Political consultants working with the Putin administration and several Russian regional governments have confirmed this account. We didn’t detect it.”But [now] The situation is completely different. former russia [the start of mobilization] and Russia are now two different countries” he emphasized.

protest the draft

Sources close to the Kremlin and those who know Putin’s aides said the president “cannot give an image of the future” to even the highest level officials and top businessmen. Because of sanctions; they are losing huge amounts of money. But it is completely unclear to them whether the Kremlin can compensate for all of it. “

As a result, according to Medusa sources, Russia’s “vertical power” is beginning to “collapse.”For example, the governor of Russia openly began declare Wagner PMC founder Evgeny Prigozhin and Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov have publicly (and harshly) launched while claiming they do not have the funds to fulfill Moscow’s promises Criticize national security agencies.

“For example, now [Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin] teeth say it The city’s budget provides support to the families of mobilized soldiers. The Putin administration has issued the same directive to other governors to ease social tensions. But most governors don’t have the money for that. And Sobyanin’s colleagues in other regions have a negative view of his actions: “Get out of here, Sergey Semyonovich, with your PR.”

Like government officials, high-ranking officials are not allowed to speak negatively about Putin, the Medusa sources noted. “Who’s going to jail him? He’s a monument!” said one source, citing a Soviet comedy film.

It is unclear to the Russian elite how the “monument” will end the war with Ukraine. Several high-ranking sources told Medusa that the combination of Putin’s recent remarks about nuclear war and the successes of the Ukrainian military on the front made them nervous. said. “And he especially doesn’t know how to admit he’s lost.”

running out of options

Talk To Andrei Pertsev

translator Sam Breazeal “People are shitty and scared around him, but it’s fear without respect”. Putin is 70 years old. Medusa’s sources say his “vertical power” is “collapsed.”

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