Suppressed: why you should not wait for a palace coup in Russia


Suppressed: why we should not expect a palace coup in Russia

With the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the world was interested in the question – why are the Russian oligarchs silent, having lost billions of dollars due to Putin's adventure.

The Financial Times tried to find an answer to this question. British journalists were looking for her in conversations with Russian oligarchs. Seven people were interviewed, and they also talked to other representatives of the so-called Russian elite – those who are called “operators of the way.” These are high-ranking Russian bankers, current and former heads of large companies, former officials, friends and relatives of large businessmen.

Russian military oligarchs

Most of them were under severe sanctions and lost the lion's share of their states. According to the logic of the authors of the sanctions, this should encourage the oligarchs to take decisive action with the prospect of a “palace coup” (the so-called “snuffbox” option – ed. 24 channel) and the elimination or even destruction of Putin.

After six months of the great war and harsh sanctions, we have to admit that there is no opposition to Putin in the Russian elites, even more – they even consolidated around the “banner” and unanimously blame all their troubles not on the leadership of Russia, but on the so-called “collective West”. And only the most courageous of the oligarchs resorted to cowardly, abstract and very cautious statements about “peace”.

There were some tantrums

The FT recounts the story of the early days of the invasion, when Lviv-born and Russian oligarch Mikhail Fridman, who was worth $13 billion in early 2022, called U.S. Chargé d'Affaires ad interim in Ukraine Kristina Quinn. Friedman offered to give part of his money to Ukraine to repair the damage caused by the war if the United States helped him avoid sanctions.

Also, the Russians tried to get rid of the sanctions through the courts. At least 21 Russian moneybags have started lawsuits against the EU. Among them are Friedman and his partner Petr Aven. The oligarchs have earned their reputation as tough businessmen precisely because of their aggressive tactics in the British courts, but not this time. These gentlemen pretend that they sincerely do not understand why they are so tough with them and want to go to the courts to the end. However, their prospects are pitiful. The West expects from them not litigation, but concrete actions.

In response, Friedman heard a counterproposal – to press Putin to stop the invasion. To which Friedman began to shout resentfully and convince Quinn that he had no influence on Putin. The oligarch spoke about his love for his native Ukraine, but then broke into emotions: “You want to take away all my money!” Then there was one of the biggest “bummers” in the life of the oligarch – the American diplomat said that there was nothing more to talk about and hung up. A Russian oligarch texted Ms Quinn apologizing but never got a response.

To make a palace coup and overthrow the king, you must first be in the palace. None of these people are there. How Friedman should influence the decision of the president from the UK? And even if Friedman were in his house in Moscow, he still had no contact with the president. How could he influence his decision? – justifies Friedman, and with him himself, the anonymous Russian oligarch.

They didn't give a word to the parasites

There is only a grain of truth in these words, however, it reveals the very essence of the Russian oligarchy. The fact is that this is not its classic version, but actually Russian. The fact is that in Russia the majority of oligarchs are, so to speak, appointed. These are mostly people of insignificant talents, whose superpower is that they either happened to be in the right place at the right time, or simply were part of Putin's entourage.

The Russian dictator at one time gave them the so-called “feeding”, that is, a label for enrichment, in return he demanded complete loyalty and readiness to be his wallets, as well as to donate. The billions that the Russian oligarchs “earned” and which ended up under sanctions are really money stolen from the state of Russia, rent for parasitizing on the natural resources of this unfortunate country.

On the day of the invasion to Ukraine on February 24, 2022 – Putin gathered the oligarchs in the Kremlin and announced the “party policy”. In this performance, the richest people in Russia were assigned the role of extras.

This has not always been the case with Russia. FT recalls the times of Putin's predecessor, Boris Yeltsin, and the times of the so-called “seven-bankers” (by analogy with the “seven-boyars” during the Russian turmoil of the early 17th century – ed. Channel 24). These people were rich and could have a direct influence on the political course of Russia. One of them was Peter Aven. However, in 20 years the situation has changed radically. The same Aven was forced to mimic and undergo a course of political castration in order to save his money. Those who did not do this were either killed (like Boris Berezovsky) or ended up behind bars (like Mikhail Khodorkovsky).

The FT states that only a part of the Russian moneybags are “suing” the West for billions, the other proportion of the rich resignedly resigned themselves to the loss of villas, yachts and other elements of a carefree oligarchic life and meekly learn to live in Moscow.

Some people decide like this: “Do I need all this? I will return to Moscow, where I will go to restaurants with pleasure and feel great,” an anonymous FT interlocutor explains the psychology of the “hit”.< /p>

The non-anonymous source for the article is former US Ambassador to Moscow Michael McFaul. He, according to his status, can afford frank assessments of Russian oligarchs.

There are the oligarchs of the 1990s, and we are all very proud when we impose sanctions on them and seize their yachts. But let's face it: these guys have no influence on Vladimir Putin. In addition, he recalls, there is a new cohort of Russian billionaires. This is a really rich guy, and he is close to Putin, but he is really rich precisely because he is close to Putin. Therefore, he has no leverage to force him to stop the war, the diplomat believes.

Does not forget about the oligarchs and “families”. The Russian rich told reporters with fear about regular calls from Russia with calls to return home. Thus the moneybags were trapped.

They (the oligarchs – Channel 24) say they are afraid of being poisoned, but in fact they are afraid of losing their money and the reputation they have worked so hard to build. Now “they don't know how to act in such a situation,” an anonymous high-ranking and again Russian businessman shares his common fears.

An example, according to the Financial Times, could be the story of the exalted Russian billionaire Oleg Tinkov, who wrote about the “peace” on his Instagram and was subsequently forced to sell his brainchild to TinkoffBank, in fact, “for a penny.” For some oligarchs, this incident became “a cautionary tale about how condemning the war can cost them a fortune.” Luxembourg. These processes will last for years and will cost the Russian oligarchs a lot of money. The result of these trials is already known in advance, because the West rightfully believes that the money of Russian oligarchs, directly or through taxes, finances the war and genocide in Ukraine.

The oligarchs don't want to admit it, and they spin around like a loach. Sub-sanctioned billionaires say this is only a tiny fraction of the sums that the European countries themselves have spent on Russian oil and gas since the beginning of the invasion.

“The EU helps Putin more than we do. Let them impose sanctions against himself,” says one of those who object to being included in the sanctions list, offended, trying to whitewash himself “innocent”.

Another oligarchic life hack of the Russians is financing the restoration of Ukraine

Of course, in exchange for the lifting of sanctions. According to informed FT sources, besides Fridman, several other Russian businessmen turned to Kyiv with such proposals, offering a “quid pro quo” (probably, among the “benefactors” is the former governor of Chukotka Roman Abramovich – ed. – Channel 24).

If there was a rule according to which they give 50% in support of Ukraine, and keep the remaining 50% for themselves, then the Russian oligarchs would all come running to one. The problem is that they have no way out. You need to give them some direction to aspire to, a powerful Russian complains to British journalists. Putin can only offer them something in the future.” “But all they want now is to return the money they had and lost.”

At the same time, Ukraine does not want to save the Russian fire victims.

Ukraine does not use sanctions as a bargaining tool. It's a matter of principle. The main goal of the sanctions is to stop the war, and not to find certain conditions in order to agree to their cancellation, – explains the common truths, Deputy Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Rostyslav Shurma.

When serious problems begin in Russia from -for sanctions – watch the video:

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