Is Putin at risk of being overthrown by a coup?

Such understanding is widespread, the purported ex-FSB officer says, but “the people of Russia are hardly likely to rise up in revolt.” On the other hand, it is quite possible that those close to Putin will. The billionaires around him see Putin’s policies as destroying their wealth, much of which is abroad, and they won’t support his isolating policies forever.

Moreover, he continues, “no one in Russia needs” those poor Ukrainian regions into which so much money will have to be poured at a time when “Russia itself is threatened with a deep economic crisis.” That crisis alone will reduce the wealth of the oligarchs, and Putin’s Ukrainian actions will accelerate that process.

The only “way out,” this individual says, is “the physical destruction of Putin or a repetition of the Ukrainian scenario.” There is no other way, given that in his view, the Kremlin leader has “really lost touch with reality” and won’t be able to hide Russia’s domestic problems for long by foreign aggression.