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Tags: holt | putin | russia | ukraine | politics

Blaine Holt to Newsmax: Retirement Could Give Putin Safe 'Off Ramp'

Retired Brig. Gen. Blaine Holt (Newsmax)

By    |   Tuesday, 17 January 2023 11:29 AM EST

Retired Brig. Gen. Blaine Holt told Newsmax on Tuesday that reports of Russian President Vladimir Putin planning to step down by year's end could signal that Putin is looking for a safe "off ramp" before the people or former Kremlin allies forcefully remove him.

"He's looking for a personal off ramp for himself," Holt said on "Wake Up America." "Let's remember the rules of thugs and tough guys and totalitarian dictators. You had better pick your successor, and you had better pick someone who you think will protect your interests, and allow you to live a retirement life.

"Otherwise, you could find yourself retiring in a much more meaningful way."

Holt said that while Putin would like to be able to pick who comes after him, Russia's political climate is volatile, with many former Kremlin allies breaking way from him during a sluggish war in Ukraine.

"It's going to be very surprising if he gets to pick his own successor because right now the inner circle is in tatters," Holt said. "There's a lot of disarray and disagreement, and there are a lot of rivals who used to be friends who are looking at that seat as well."

Newsweek reported Jan. 13 that Putin could be eyeing retirement instead of running for president in 2024 with the war in Ukraine becoming more unpopular with citizens.

According to the report, which cited political analyst and former Putin speechwriter Abbas Gallyamov, "rigging" the 2024 race could be "too risky" for Putin, giving him the opportunity to appoint one of three people to succeed him: Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, or Deputy Chief of Staff Dmitry Kozak.

Such a move would give Putin a graceful way to bow out and retire to his Black Sea estate, the report said.

Holt said Tuesday that no matter how comprehensive intelligence is on the three potential successors, no one knows what kind of leader any would be.

"Our intel community will have better profiles on these folks," Holt said. "But even with the intel workups that the CIA does on these types of people, you're never really going to know until they're actually in the seat, because in Russian politics, you have to keep your own counsel. You can't really be out there espousing what you espouse. You have to keep it all to yourself."

Holt said no matter how things play out, it could be an opportunity to end the war in Ukraine.

"The likely person to take the seat, not even his own inner circle is going to know where they're going to come down on things," Holt said. "There probably is going to be an opportunity in all cases to end the war with whoever we get because they're going to be inheriting a Russian economy that's in tatters and isolated."

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Retired Brig. Gen. Blaine Holt told Newsmax on Tuesday that reports of Russian President Vladimir Putin planning to step down by year's end could signal that Putin is looking for a safe "off ramp" before the people, or former Kremlin allies, forcefully remove him.
holt, putin, russia, ukraine, politics
518
2023-29-17
Tuesday, 17 January 2023 11:29 AM
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