A phantom is reaching out to Putin…
If the name Igor Girkin only triggers thoughts to you of eager pickles, then you are among the multitude outside Russia who have never heard of this ambitious ultranationalist.
Igor Girkin says he is going to run against Putin in the March 2024 Presidential election in Russia.
He says that Putin is too soft.
Take a second and absorb that.
Medium author Shankar Narayan did a nice summary of Girkin’s chief complaints about Putin. Girkin states that “It turned out that neither the country, nor the army, nor Russian industry were ready for war, and so-called Ukraine was far from being a straw man in military terms.”
In other words, he says that Putin messed up.
Would it surprise you to note that Girkin is currently in custody?
He is awaiting trial on charges of inciting extremism. When Putin calls you ‘extremist’ then you have crossed the line with a bulldozer. Girkin says he would make a better president than Putin because Putin is gullible and “too kind”.
Girkin’s Telegram post about “On running as a candidate for president of the Russian Federation”, also pointed a finger at the Russian officials responsible for advising Putin, saying they were still in place and “continue to amaze us with their incompetence.”
Girkin said Putin had billionaire friends “to whom he cannot (due to the above-mentioned kindness and generosity of soul) refuse anything”, and that their wealth was growing faster than military production.
Did I mention that he is in jail?
By attacking the billionaires Girkin hits a sensitive spot. Putin’s income flows from holes drilled in the ground that produce oil and gas. The labor of a people is not involved in this ‘extractive economy’ — it requires a very small and elite workforce. In fact, the people are hostage to the income doled out by the state. People are superfluous and possibly dangerous. There is no middle class in Russia. When Russia’s ‘best and brightest’ fled the country as the war with Ukraine heated up, Putin did not stop them. He was glad to see them go. They might have protested.