Five Local Deputies Arrested After Proposing Putin Be Arrested on Treason Charges
Five Russian municipal deputies from St. Petersburg have been arrested after publishing a request to the Duma to have Vladimir Putin arrested and charged with treason for the invasion of Ukraine.
“They know the punishment will be severe. They can easily face a death sentence based on Russian federal law. The significance of this act of defiance and dissent by a handful of Russian officials cannot be possibly overstated,” Rebekah Koffler, a former DIA intelligence officer and author of Putin’s Playbook, told Fox News Digital.
Just 24 hours later, another local authority called for Putin’s resignation. In a letter addressed to the president by council deputies at Lomonosovsky Municipal District, the deputies wrote that Russia had now become “feared and hated” while “aggression” has taken the country back to the “Cold War era,” as reported by Newsweek.
Putin is in no danger of being deposed — unless there is plotting by the military going on under everyone’s radar. But any sort of political revolt can easily be thwarted by Putin, who has the police and the FSB security service on his side.
“It is possible they decided to risk their lives in order to build momentum among the Russian people to oust Putin, which is an incredibly difficult thing to do because Putin has surrounded himself with loyal security and intelligence operatives,” Koffler explained. “Even two months ago, I would say that a coup in Russia is unlikely.
“Today, with Ukraine’s counter-offensive gaining steam and Russia having become as much of a pariah as North Korea, I don’t rule out the possibility of a regime change organized from within.”
Realistically, the army is the only national group with the prestige to go to Putin and ask for his resignation. But despite recent gains by Ukraine on the battlefield, the overall military situation still favors Russia. Putin is currently fighting with one hand tied behind his back. He has resisted full mobilization and has not employed the Russian air force with full effect. While the war has exposed some serious flaws in Russia’s command and control and leadership, Ukraine does not have the horses to go the distance with Russia in a long war.
Related: Russia Routed in Kharkiv Counteroffensive
But would that change with a major economic shock? Western sanctions are really beginning to bite in Russia and there is rising discontent over the scarcities and rising prices. But as Mao said, “Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.” And Putin has most of the guns.
Koffler noted that the death of Mikhail Gorbachev may have prompted this act of defiance. Gorbachev played a role in repairing relations between the Soviet Union and the United States, and his funeral drew thousands of Russians to mourn him despite Putin’s attempt to downplay the significance by ruling out a full state funeral and not even appearing at the funeral himself.
“We may be witnessing the beginning of the next chapter in Russian history,” Koffler said. “The transition period, if this is what it is, will be highly risky. After all, we are dealing with a nuclear power.”
Putin can’t lose this war. That’s what makes Ukraine’s gains so dangerous. What might Putin do to keep Ukraine from winning? It’s a question that should occupy Biden before he authorizes another couple of billion dollars to continue this dangerous war.