Vladimir Putin’s bad week (year, decade?) gets worse. Clearly, his war on Ukraine hasn’t gone over swimmingly, both with the scores of families who have lost troops and the public at large, but specifically at the moment, I’m discussing his image. This week, former underlings have expressed their stunned reaction at the disintegration of his “Superman” image, years after he posed shirtless in nature. And now, the billionaires of Russia are not only not here for his pleas to save their economy, but Putin is also being trashed in private by some of those figures.
At least, that’s what is being reported by The Moscow Times, which appears to lean towards the authenticity of a wiretapped phone call that first surfaced on YouTube before receiving Ukrainian news coverage. The following choice quotes (in a conversation purportedly between billionaire ex-Senator Farhad Akhmedov and music producer Iosif Prigozhin) seem relevant:
“[Putin] doesn’t give a f*ck about anything. And he doesn’t give a f*ck about the people. He’s fucking Satan. Wimp ..,” one of the pair says.
“How will we clean all this up later? Fascism will be here, a military dictatorship. You’ll see. That’s how it’s going to end,” a voice says, only for his interlocutor to agree.
As The Moscow Times notes, Prigozhin was quick to go on record to call this recording “fake,” even as he admitted that part of the according was real, but can you blame him? As The Daily Beast reports, Putin’s regime recently punished a father after his child worked up an anti-war drawing. It’s not pretty right now in Russia.