For ten days no one has seen Putin. The Kremlin is telling reporters they will soon make an announcement. One Russian leader says Nikolai Patrushev was behind a coup. Some of Putin’s close associates are worried, or travelling. The Swiss press announced that his girlfriend Alina Kabaeva gave birth to a child 2 weeks ago. One report, which I have not confirmed, places her outside of Russia.
Typically, when the Russian economy goes bottom up, the Russians get rid of their rulers, it happened to Gorbechev and Yeltsin…after all if people are starving to death what does one have to lose by a regime change?? I was expecting Putin would be pushed aside due to the economy going belly up. That was the purpose of the global low gas prices. As gas prices have risen again (in our area some stations are over $3/gal. for regular), it stands to reason that the purpose of the low prices (to force a regime change) secretly worked. However, watch out for getting what you want. A regime change in Russia could go two directions: more friendly towards the West & NATO or more hostile. Considering the enormous number of hawkish Putin-govt.-military-intelligence apparatchiks in his govt., it is possible that some of them will decide to take Russia into an even more confrontational second cold war, but first they are going to have to alleviate some of the suffering of the people.
I could offer speculation on what has happened, there seems to be enough of that as rumors are abundant. Something has happened. Some speculate that Putin is merely feeling sick and is too macho to allow himself to be seen while sick. While possible, it seems like a weak explanation. We will most likely learn an explanation for his disappearance this next week.