Russian people are manically afraid of losing a war. Retreating from Ukrainian territory will cause many problems in Russia, not only for the elites but also for the average Russian people.
Victory in war is a part of the Russian genetic code established after WW2, maintained since then and highly intensified and cultivated during Putin’s reign.
Russians have been told for generations that they have never lost a war in modern history, that they should be proud of their victorious nature, and that this invincibility sets them apart from all other nations.
Russian people today would not know how to identify themselves if they lost a war, particularly to Ukrainian people, whom Russians historically regarded as inferior to the Russki ethnic group.
All Russian ethnic groups have been kept in the dark about their genuine identities and standards of decency, first under the Soviet Union's leadership and now under Putin's government, after losing a battle to the Kremlin.
After losing its grip on Ukraine, the Kremlin requested Russian propaganda to intensify shameless indoctrination regarding Russian historical greatness and its unique evolutionary role.
At one point, it became evident that, unlike the majority of the elites, Putin started believing in those stories, which Russian propaganda produced to brainwash the Russian majority and please the leader.
Drone attacks paralysed the Kremlin
Just recently, Russia has suffered a massive drone attack. Russians are in a state of shock. This left Kremlin paralysed, not knowing what to offer the public as an accurate point of view.
The recent drone attack on Russia has been the most devastating so far. Vladimir Solovyev, the leading propagandist, exhausted all the arguments he regularly used to maintain the necessary level of heat among the Russian public, and keep them in a proud and victorious mode.
He has recently suggested that Russia should strike Western facilities that produce drones which Ukraine uses to launch attacks on Russia, because, alternatively, Russia will lose the war.
The Russian population is beginning to suffer as well. However, the Russian people will not revolt, as has been the case throughout history.
The maximum they could do is support someone who could speak up publicly and is appealing enough for the masses to listen and digest.
Exhaustion from prolonged war
However, even half a million unarmed civilian protesters on the streets of Moscow will not be able to do anything against any of Putin’s well-armed and equipped guardsmen organisations, as, for example, the relatively small army of Ramzan Kadyrov, head of the Chechen Republic of Russian Federation, loyal to Putin.
In fact, Putin keeps a fraction of Kadyrov’s army in Moscow precisely because of a hypothetical need to calm the people of Moscow down in case of major unrest.
Confusion and disarray will increase in Russia now that Ukrainian military capabilities have been improved significantly, and F-16s are about to start helping the Ukrainian army defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Nobody anticipated that "great" Russia would suffer severely from the effects of war due to the nation's inherent sense of victory.
Long before it affected the upper class, immune to propaganda and only concerned with maintaining their positions and property, exhaustion from the protracted war and the fear of defeat had spread throughout the entire population.
Waiting for a collapse
The Russian upper class is tired of Putin, but its ability to influence the Kremlin is limited. Putin has surrounded himself with obscurantist and stubborn gerontocrats who controlled the leading positions. They might have been the co-authors of Putin’s geopolitical madness and instigators of war in Ukraine.
There are no cowboys in the Russian political and upper class. Many were risk-takers in the past, but their toughness began to suffer from atrophy after years of high oil prices and overall growing prosperity.
At one point, they started being passive servants to the Kremlin, helping it to brainwash the Russian masses and subvert and corrupt Western political class.
Few people in Russian politics dared to oppose Putin's authority during his 20+ years of rule.
The elites are now being suffocated in Russia, predominantly in Moscow. They are incapable of reaping the benefits of their corruption and loyalty because they are no longer welcome and permitted to do so in the West.
They are tired and fed up with the duration of Putin's "3-day war" in Ukraine, but they are also frustrated because they know that their leader has no intention of ending it soon. However, they do not have many options other than to wait out the collapse while their assets melt away.
The Russian elites clearly realise that Putin plans to wait and see what will happen after the 2024 US election.
They do not share Putin’s optimism, not only because they are probably more informed in comparison to Putin, who has been stuck in a bubble of his fantasies and illusions, but also because, unlike him, the elites have a relatively convenient way out of this tragedy which started on February 24, 2022.