March 13, 2015 – Following the announcement that the Kremlin is preparing for a major announcement the Market Vector Russia ETF Trust was down more than 1.5 percent Friday. All major media organisations in Russia have been told to be ready for a major press conference in the next few days.
Alexei Mukhin, Director General of the Centre for Political Information confirmed the rumor, anticipating that “something important” will happen. When prompted about Putin’s health condition, Mukhin neither confirmed confirmed or denied that Putin is currently “incapacitated.”
The Kremlin assured that Putin is in good condition. According to EuroNews, Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for the President said that “there is absolutely no reason for any doubts about the state of his (Putin’s) health.” He added, “His health is really perfect and everything is OK with him, and he’s working in accordance with his traditionally overloaded working schedule.”
Mukhin also tweeted two messages in relation with the issue. First: “Guys, you now need the president, come together.” A few minutes later he added: “Be brave guys – Putin moved to the next level in your game…”
A few hours earlier, Mukhin had told Pravda.Ru that Putin has no rivals inside of Russia, adding that his popularity would only grow “against the backdrop of increasing external pressure.”
Mukhin then said, “I would not go against Vladimir Putin, who said that he would make the decision later, under the influence of life circumstances. At this stage, undoubtedly, there is no alternative to Vladimir Putin.”
Meanhwile a huge number of unmarked white trucks streaming into red square tonight pictures included:
On March 13, Russia released stills of Putin meeting with Russian supreme court chairman Vyacheslav Lebedev. But as the New York Times notes, the appearance hasn’t been confirmed outside of the Kremlin.
This unusually long disappearance could indicate that something is going down within the walls of the Kremlin. But what?
Putin’s absence might have no larger significance, and rumors of his illness or even death could be overblown. But the speculation surrounding his health shows just how fragile Putin’s system really is — as well as its dependency on a single individual.
Even an absence of a few days raises some startling possibilities about what could really be going on in Moscow.
“While the talk is pretty speculative and quite wild now, it is clearly irking the Russians,” Mark Galeotti, a New York University professor specializing in global affairs and Russian and Slavic studies, told Business Insider by email. “If Putin doesn’t show in the next day or so or if all we get are some press stills, then that will suggest something serious is up — and the succession struggle begins.”
“I have no idea whether Putin is dead, but there is clearly something going on that the Kremlin is working hard to hide,” Nichols told Business Insider.
This absence has prompted rumors and speculation across the Russian blogosphere. “Putin has died” is now trending across the Russian internet, but there is no credible information citing what, if anything, might be afflicting him.
This kind of speculation may be natural given the secretive and autocratic nature of Putin’s leadership. “These are the kinds of things that happen when a governing system is so dependent on the image of and physical person of one man,” Hannah Thoburn, a Eurasia analyst with the Foreign Policy Initiative, told Business Insider. “This is certainly not the first time that similar rumors have happened. They happened under Yeltsin as well (although he really was in very poor health).”
If Putin is incapacitated, the Kremlin may try to keep that information tightly under wraps until all factions within the government have agreed to a successor.
Constitutionally, “Medvedev would take over as acting president for 90 days,” Nichols said. “It’s how Putin himself became president in 1999.”
“But no, there is no way the Kremlin would announce [Putin’s death] until all the deals have been cut,” Nichols added.
Israels former ambassador to Russia: ‘There are signs of a coup’
Israel’s former ambassador to Russia, Zvi Magen, told Haaretz he believes “there are many signs of a coup. The movement of the army around the Kremlin indicates that there is a change in government, or that an attempt at a change in government is being carried out.”
Magen believes those responsible for the potential coup are “branches or factions in the army who are working together or against one another, or wealthy businessmen, many of whom worked in these organizations. They could only be people who are free to walk around the corridors of the Kremlin.”
He says possible reasons include the ongoing sanctions imposed by the West on those close to the Kremlin, sanctions “that harm them personally. I don’t believe there’s a controversy there surrounding policy. They’re protecting their own interests.”
March 14th – Tanks infront of Government buildings in Moscow, Putin missing ??
The Ides of March | March 15th, 2015