Russian oligarchs who criticize Putin’s invasion of Ukraine tend to die falling out of open windows or in other bizarre circumstances.
Last week, Pavel Antov, a Russian politician, died after falling from a hotel window while on vacation in India. The BBC reported that he criticized Putin’s war in Ukraine, saying of a Russian missile attack on Kyiv that it was “very hard to call it anything other than terrorism”. Two weeks ago, Antov’s colleague Vladimir Budanov, 61, died of a heart attack in the same hotel.
In September, Ravel Maganov, the head of Russian oil giant Lukoil, died after falling from a hospital window in Moscow after expressing his “deep concerns about the tragic events in Ukraine”.
And there are others. But the most unusual death among Russian oligarchs was that of Alexander Subbotin in May. His body, found in the basement of a shaman’s house on the outskirts of Moscow, was used, according to TASS, in “Jamaican voodoo rituals.”
Is it just a coincidence, the death of this succession of Russian oligarchs critical of Putin under suspicious circumstances? What, anyway, boggles the minds of conspiracy theorists.
Putin: Great losses, but no victory
The harder Putin tries and refuses to leave Ukraine, the more difficult it will be to do so. As Ukraine’s allies become more united and effective in their military aid to Kiev against Putin, support for the oligarchy around him is waning.
They are aware of his growing vulnerability and position themselves post-Putin, and they are already maneuvering against each other. Putin feels his growing unpopularity. The Window Drop purge is a somber warning intended to intimidate opponents.
But the people who were killed had influential friends and families who would never forgive a tyrant. Thus, Putin will be forced to engage in a syndrome of purging and suppression which will only make the situation even more turbulent.
The tragic antecedent of February 1917
As Putin doggedly pursues his bloody and unsuccessful attacks on Ukraine, opposition is growing within his army of conscripts, who are treated as “cannon fodder”. It reminds me of the uprising of Russian soldiers in the February Revolution of 1917, which led to the Bolshevik Revolution.
Putin made a huge mistake, thinking that he could easily conquer Ukraine. He must be expelled from power and Russia must be defeated so that its future leaders will think twice before invading neighboring countries that the Tsarist Empire or the Soviet Union annexed willingly or by force.
This can only end badly for Putin, Russia, and maybe everyone else.