On February 27, 2022, Vladimir Putin put Russia's deterrence forces on special alert. While conventional warfare raged in Ukraine and there was talk of partisan warfare, the nuclear threat always lurked in the background. Putin himself alluded to it in his address to the nation of September 24, 2022, when he threatened an unprecedented response to anyone, who dared interfere with the operation. The Echo of Moscow radio station published on its website two blogs vehemently critical of Putin that circled back to the nuclear threat. The first is by Dmitry Gudkov, a former member of the systemic opposition, who went rogue and joined the opposition. This year the familiar regime response of filing criminal charges against Gudkov while allowing him to go into exile impelled Gudkov to flee to Ukraine of all places. Gudkov essentially exhorts the Russian elites to overthrow Putin in order to save their fortunes and their skins and head off nuclear catastrophe before Putin sends everybody to heaven together with him. Abbas Gallyamov, a former speech writer for Putin and a political consultant reaches a different conclusion. However loathsome Putin is, he must not be allowed to feel like a cornered rat, because that could lead to nuclear catastrophe. Instead, a system granting him and his associates lifetime immunity should be constructed so he will go quietly.
The two blogs follow below:
Putin with Russia's Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu and the Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov (Source: Eer.ru)
Gudkov: Russia's Elites Must Abandon Ship On Putin's Titanic
"Russia’s elites, this is your last chance to survive... this is the only way to get out of your Titanic gang. State Duma deputy Mikhail Matveyev understood this before all, calling for a stop to the war in Ukraine. The self-preservation instinct worked. An orchestra is still playing on board, tables are crammed with delicacies, guests are entertained by Basque Nightingales, but the ship's captain has gone mad. The end is known; it’s but a matter of time. Russia will not recover from these sanctions with Putin alive (or at large).
"Key [Russian] banks are blocked in the world. There is a ban on [the export of]oil, air and space technologies. [Russian] planes are being excluded. Skies are closed in neighboring countries. Plus, personal sanctions [have been imposed] against everyone. With every minute comes more. Total isolation. And you, the 'elite', are getting booted out of Europe and the U.S. You, and your children are going back to Russia, to the FSB and [Chechen boss] Kadyrov, to [former Donetsk Defense Minister Igor] Strelnikov and Girkin [Strelnikov's real name]. It’s now time for them to deal with you. There will be no new nobility, no succession. Only [Ivan the Terrible style] oprichnina [purge], that will dispossess you. Because there is no one else. Only you have the money. Putin will not get any Ukraine. The further we go- the bigger the war . No amount of propaganda will save you. The death of people in Ukraine is being witnessed not only by the entire world, but by an entire Russia, that has friends, relatives, colleagues there. Soon everyone will hate you. Everything is already prepared for the general mobilization on account of his [Putin's] madness.
"There is no choice: Putin has taken the path of political suicide. He has a nuclear bomb, and if he goes to heaven, let all the rest die".
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And now either you are his, or he is yours. All of us. Don't be afraid, there is nothing to be afraid of. You will anyway soon lose everything: money, opportunities. You are already outcasts, and tomorrow you can even become prisoners or corpses.
Dmitry Gudkov (Source: Rosbalt.ru)
Gallyamov: We Should Not Dream About Nuremberg, But On How To Avoid A Nuclear War'
"Many will disagree with me, but don't forget that the President of Russia has a nuclear button. Well, let's just say, personality traits must be considered.
"In general, I think Putin has already begun to guess that he has hit a dead end. In order that he shouldn't get the urge to take extreme measures in this situation, he must understand that there is, in fact, a way out. Remember what he told about the cornered rat in his first book?
"The international community will have to take unprecedented steps to create a system of guarantees of personal inviolability for Putin. I understand that it is incredibly difficult. You consider a person a war criminal and you also need to design his security. And you also need to convince him yourself that you will not deceive him. And he is a distrustful person. Here, it may be necessary to redraw part of the system of international relations, to create some new institutions - something like "an inviolable and lifelong world doyen." In general, everything has to be done so that he believes that this is not the end. And taking into account his "boyish logic", I think that similar measures will have to be taken with respect to everyone he points his finger at - all these [Putin associates] Rotenbergs, Kovalchuks, Lavrovs, Shoigu and others like them. They, too, will have to be guaranteed lifelong immunity.
"And please do not write about the fact that 'the ashes of Claes are knocking at my heart. [from the novel Thyl Ulengpiegel, in which Claes a Protestant hero is burned at the stake by the Spaniards]' In my heart too. But optimal political decisions should be taken emotionlessly, and cool-headedly.
"Yes, the plan is imperfect, I can see its weak aspects myself. Once realized, it can give hope to other autocrats, propelling them towards those crimes that they still dream of in secret, but are afraid to try out. All this is true, but a hypothetical threat is still better than a threat that becomes absolutely real.
"We should not dream about Nuremberg, but on how to avoid a nuclear war.
"By the way, the creation of this system, will also be technically, most difficult to organize. Can you imagine what a barrage of criticism will come crashing down on those who will do this? A significant part of the work may have to be done in secret, taking the already prepared decision to the public and being ready to lose the election and leave after that. Responsible politicians sometimes have to do that It doesn't matter, in the name of a great cause it is possible."
Abbas Gallyamov (Source: M-business.gazeta.ru)