Staunton, May 3 – The core drama of the situation in Russia and its war in Ukraine is that the Russian Federation is ruled by “a collective Putin an that if he dies tomorrow, another Putin will replace him,” a situation which means that Russia may lose the war but refuse to recognize that fact and instead seek to expand it, Yury Felshtinsky says.
The big question is whether the West will provide Ukraine with sufficient weapons to defeat Russia so that Moscow will be forced to recognize it has been defeated, the US-based Russian specialist on Russian security services says. Otherwise, even in defeat, Moscow may expand its aggression (kasparov.ru/material.php?id=6451759C0D7B7).
But those who hope Putin will be removed by his colleagues are almost certainly wrong, Felshtinsky says. Most likely support him or are too afraid to take any action against him lest it cost them their positions or even their lives. At present, there is no sign that there is any willingness to challenge Putin within the leadership of the FSB.
According to the specialist, “Russia is currently led by a collective Putin; and if he dies tomorrow, he will be replaced by another person who does not differ in views and intentions. That in itself will not lead to an end of the war,” and that is a reality that Ukraine and the West must keep in mind.
“Since 2000, Russia has been ruled by the FSB, the oldest structure in today's Russia and alongside the army the only state structure that survived the fall of Soviet power in 1991.” What this means is that “for the first time in the history of the world since 2000, the State Security as a department manages the state. This has never happened anywhere before.”
And that has consequences: “In the USSR and Russia, a very specific kind of person went to work for this structure. A normal person never did. Those who do have never been taught to build and create; they have been taught to infiltrate, control, destroy and kill. This is their profession and what they are good at doing.”
“In 2000, they seized power in Russia. In 2008, they launched a war in Georgia; in 2014, another war in Ukraine. In 2020-21, they captured Belarus; and over the last year, they have continued the war against Ukraine. They are trying to expand their power into Eastern Europe in order to expand towards Western Europe.”
No one should be surprised that Putin and Patrushev say they “are not fighting against Ukraine but against NATO.” And because that is what they believe, it is very difficult to believe that the war will be limited to Ukraine unless the West helps Kyiv defeat Moscow precisely there.