How long can Putin hold out?

The power of the Russian president is still held by propaganda and the strength of his repressive system. But Ukraine's reckless invasion has heightened its regime's vulnerabilities.

How long can Putin hold out?

For the first time since his accession to the Kremlin, Vladimir Putin puts his regime and his clan in mortal danger. The former KGB officer had seized power thanks to the second war in Chechnya in 1999. Will he lose it, twenty-three years later, because of the invasion of Ukraine that he himself even wanted, planned and triggered? They are more and more numerous, in Moscow as elsewhere, to affirm it. The American columnist David Rothkopf, for example, is betting on it: this invasion "will indeed lead to a change of regime, but in Moscow, not in Kiev" , he assures, enthusiastic.

History, of course, is far from being written: Putin, who is also playing his survival in this war from another age, still has many resources to keep power. But several ferments of destabilization of the Russian regime are at work, from sanctions which strike at the heart of the economy and society to the manifest opposition to the war of a large number of intellectuals and members of the elite.

How could this tsar of the 21st century who wanted to be Peter the Great and  who will undoubtedly remain in history textbooks like a vulgar Ivan the Terrible fall? Will the master of the Kremlin be overthrown or assassinated by a Brutus? It is the hope of the opponent Sergei Parkhomenko.


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