“What most concerns Western observers, however, is Patrushev’s zealotry. Mark Galeotti, an expert on Russian politics, has described him as ‘the most dangerous man’ in the country, the ‘devil on Putin’s shoulder’. For years Patrushev has promoted the narrative that Russia is locked in an existential conflict with America (‘they spit in our eye, and call it God’s dew’). Among a raft of conspiracies he promotes is the claim that the US is pursuing a policy of population control called the ‘golden billion’ (wherein a cabal of one billion global elites seek to hoard the world’s wealth and resources); is harvesting the organs of Ukrainian orphans; and trying to seize Siberia (this latter germinated from a mind-reader employed by the FSB to look into US officials). Even at the February 21 meeting, he ended on an often overlooked note: negotiations with the US were doomed to fail, he said.
Since the war began Patrushev has emerged as one of the most prominent hawks, alongside Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov and the mercenary Wagner Group’s founder Yevgeny Prigozhin. His chances of succeeding Putin rest on two pillars: at the moment, the ousting of Putin by hardline nationalists appears more likely than a coup by peace-seeking doves. And as a representative of the so-called “KGB clan”, Patrushev knows how to work the Kremlin’s internal politics to his advantage, unlike the other two who are loudmouth, martial outsiders. “
Comment: Sounds like bad news. pl